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How to promote literacy to your children from an early age!

by Cassey Grey

Fostering literacy in infancy is important to childhood development. It helps children build the right abilities and skills that can help them as they grow older. The BBC reports that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the speech and language capabilities of students all over the country. These are two important aspects of literacy and show the increasing need to foster the skill better in infancy and early childhood. Other basic aspects include listening and writing.

There are many ways you can help your kids build their literacy which will help them as they get ready to go to school. They will be able to use this skill to have an easier time grasping lessons as it is the foundation of all learning. It also aids them in having a better understanding and comprehension of the world around them. Here are just a few ways you can foster literacy skills in your infants:

Read books with them

The main way you, as a parent, can help your child to be more literate is by reading to and with them. Our past article on: Early Language Development highlights the fact that children, especially younger ones, find picture books to be entertaining and attention-grabbing. These works are also written with kids in mind so they are easy to follow and use basic vocabulary. Reading to your child will also help them build their active listening skills to follow the plot of the story.

A book like A Fish Goes Splash is a perfect example of something children can easily read and comprehend. It illustrates the basics of marine life and utilises rhyming schemes to make it catchier for kids. You can read books like this to your child at bedtime to help them fall asleep or as a fun bonding activity during the day. Black and white books like Happy Faces are great for newborns whose eyes are still learning to see colours. They can easily focus on the images without feeling overwhelmed by multiple shades, boosting their concentration skills in the process.

Purchase sensory items for their pushchair

During infancy, children make use of their senses to have a better grasp and understanding of the world. It is important to engage these sensations better to impart knowledge and literacy. One tool that is often overlooked but can actually help in this aspect is a good pushchair.

Many parents simply use pushchairs to bring their child from A to B, but it can be used for so much more than that. A good pushchair will help expose your child to the world around them in a safe and controlled environment, and can be used as a learning device. There are also clip-on books with different images that you can hang on the inside of a pushchair. This can engage their sense of sight and help them form an abstract concept of the picture in their mind. In order to help keep them engaged a good pushchair that will provide a smooth ride over all terrains is recommended. The pushchairs featured by iCandy demonstrate how modern designs are made with all terrain puncture proof PU tyres. A smooth ride will allow your child to easily interact with the book without getting distracted. A pushchair is a necessary tool to help engage your infant’s senses and safely interact with their environment.

Invest in scribble materials

While infants don’t have the capability to write letters, they can still scribble. This will help them to develop their motor skills properly so that they will have an easier time writing once they go to school. It also boosts their hand-eye coordination and overall dexterity.

Writer and stay-at-home mum Apryl Duncan lists a few creative ways you can get your infant to scribble. The first is letting them draw on the pavement. This is another great way for them to learn literacy while being outdoors. You can also print out images that they can colour. While you can’t expect them to properly shade the picture, they may still enjoy the experience. Just make sure that you give them enough paper to scribble on or else they might just start doing so on your walls and furniture. If this happens, don’t get mad at them but discipline them and redirect them to a different surface they can draw on. Scolding may cause them to think that scribbling is bad, which is far from the case.

Make them repeat after you

The last way you can promote infant literacy is by having your child repeat after you. At this stage in life, mirroring is one of the main ways kids learn. A study from the Carnegie Mellon University highlights how enunciating and speaking slowly will give infants an easier time to gain footing when learning a language. Saying words you want them to repeat will help them try to mimic the sounds you are making, aiding the development of their speech. Infancy is the time when most children start talking so it is important to help them build this skill.

Repetition helps things become a part of a child’s memory. Today’s Parent explains that for babies, something needs to be reiterated a thousand times before they learn a word while it is only 50 for toddlers. Before feeding them, try saying the word ‘food’ so that they will understand that is what they are eating. When they are playing, you can point at their favourite toy and name it for them so they will know what to say when they are looking for it. Helping them repeat after you will not only strengthen their speech skills but will also aid in them being able to verbalise their needs and emotions.

Promoting literacy as early as infancy is important as this will give your child the necessary skills and tools they need to succeed in the future. Finding techniques to build their reading, speech, and writing capabilities can easily be done with these fun activities.

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About the author:

Cassey Grey is a writer, reader, and most importantly a parent. In today’s digital age she feels that a love of literature is being lost as children grow up and wants to help parents introduce a culture of reading to their children. In her free time she can be found outside in the garden with her husband.

The opinions expressed within this article are solely the authors and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of The Salariya Book Company or its employees.

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