Here at DDL it’s safe to say that we are strong proponents of early childhood literacy. Research has repeatedly shown us just how important consistent and meaningful interactions between parents and children are in the development of literacy skills. We also know that the sooner these interactions occur the more prepared children are for reading success as they begin school.
So, in between work, dinner, chores, running errands, bath time and bed time what can parents do to help foster daily meaningful literacy interactions with their children?…Step one: don’t stress!
Pamela High, MD, professor of pediatrics at Brown University tells WebMD, “My perspective is that whatever parents do teach children [before kindergarten], they need to make it playful and fun. You don’t want children to turn off to [learning] because it’s too difficult for them.” She adds that “social and emotional skills are just as important [as reading prowess] for school success.” The WebMD article, written by Jen Uscher, goes on to provide a wonderful list of ideas for how parents can work informal learning experiences into their daily routines.
It comes as no surprise to us that the activities suggested by WebMD include the seven early literacy principles that we promote at the DeWitt District Library in our Very Ready Reading 7 Days, 7 Ways infant story time program. Each week, parents who attend our Baby Time program are able to spend 30 minutes interacting with their children through shared books, sounds, words, rhymes, songs, stories and playtime. These seven principles remind parents that it’s about more than just learning to read, stimulating early literacy is also about language, learning and fun!
Here are a few more quick, fun, and easy ideas that you can try this week with your child.
SHARE SOUNDS Emphasize and exaggerate the syllables in the names of foods you and your child are eating. For example, say “banana” slowly, exaggerating each syllable: ba-na-nah. Encourage your child to repeat the word after you. Don’t worry about sounding silly, that’s part of the fun.
SHARE WORDS When you are running errands in the car or at the store share the names of all the different things you are seeing. If you are at the grocery store, share the names of all the different fruits and veggies you see including the unusual ones.
SHARE RHYMES Recite rhymes that you remember from your childhood or that you may have learned at a recent story time. It doesn’t matter if you remember or recite the exact same words. It can be fun to improvise, using anything your baby shows interest in as your subject.
SHARE SONGS Make up songs by using familiar tunes while doing everyday activities such as getting dressed. Make up motions or dance with your child as you are singing. The car is a great place to do some singing!
SHARE STORIES Make up a silly story about one of your child’s favorite toys ortell your child about a story from when you were a child.
SHARE PLAYTIME Get down on the floor with your child and act like different animals. Play peekaboo and other hide and seek time of games. Make musical instruments out of everyday objects you find around the house like a spoon and a box.
SHARE BOOKS If your child shows interest in books, go for it! Even if your child only seems interested in the pictures or turning the pages.
LIBRARY STORY TIME INFORMATION
DeWitt District Library offers families 3 different story time options:
Baby Time for infants 6 months to 24 months and their caregivers
Book & Boogie for toddles 2 yrs – 4 yrs and their caregivers
Family Story Time for children 3 yrs + and their families
Our next story time sessions will kick off with our Everybody Reads party during the week of September 7th.
More information and our events calendar will be available next month from our website: