Early Literacy

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Talk!

Children’s brains are wired to learn language. The more words they hear from birth, the better! Talking to your kids and reading aloud to them gives them the opportunity to hear a wider range of vocabulary, which will help when they begin sounding out words. Have you ever had to read a word you've never heard before? Use your full vocabulary when you talk to your kids. If you speak more than one language, they can too.

 

Sing!

Kids can learn to recognize sound and rhythm in language by listening to music and singing songs, even when they're too young to understand all the words. Sing the music you learn in story time, as well as your own childhood favorites. Rhymes are especially useful for helping growing brains to understand patterns in language, and using hand motions along with the songs is a great way to build their growing vocabulary.

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Read!

The best way to encourage a love of books is to read together. Read funny books and silly books and books of all kinds. Make sure it’s a positive, fun experience, and your little ones will be motivated once it’s their turn to learn. Check out our Story Time Favorites page or talk to a librarian for book recommendations.

Write!

Writing skills start developing as soon as your children can hold an object. Scribbling with pencils, crayons, and even sidewalk chalk can help their brain development and the fine muscle control required to write letters. Drawing shapes together, even with your fingers in shaving cream on a table, helps kids learn to recognize the lines and angles that make up the alphabet. Even very young children can learn to scribble their first initial, and the praise they receive will motivate them to keep learning.

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Play!

Playing is learning. Play and learn together in parks and libraries and at home. Building with blocks, telling stories using dolls or stuffed animals, and playing with other children are all fantastic ways to develop early literacy skills. Adults can play, too. Use your full vocabulary in play time, and watch your child's language skills grow!