Introducing Toddlers to Literacy Skills Developing a love of reading begins long before the actual skill of reading. Understanding early literacy skills and how best to nourish and support them helps parents ensure that their toddlers are set up for a lifetime of reading, learning, and growing through literature that engages their minds.
It’s never too early to begin reading to children and letting them see and touch books. Emerging research has shown that literacy begins long before formal schooling. Children in infancy through toddlerhood are engaging with the tools such as books paper, pens and crayons. Some of the earliest literacy milestones involve merely noticing and interacting with books Once toddlers see that books contain fascinating images and bring pleasant experiences, they will begin to associate books with fun.
Research shows that reading language and writing skills are intricately linked and develop together from very early childhood. During these years, most learning takes place in the form of social interactions Children learn by mimicking the adults and older children in their lives, so it’s essential to model literacy habits.
Let children see you read so that they associate reading with daily activities Read to them regularly, even if they do not yet have the attention span to sit through the whole story. At this stage, it is not an all-or-nothing experience; the primary goal is to make exposure to reading a fun activity.
Choose Good Books
Not all books are created equal. It is important to choose books that meet children’s cognitive and developmental needs. The American Psychological Association recommends choosing books that have visual elements that will help introduce lifelong literacy skills. These”print-rich’ features include things like brightly coloured pictures, dialogue bubbles, or words written ornately in a way that fills the page.
The content of the books is also relevant. Toddlers need books that teach them to connect the words to the concepts they are learning about in the world around them. Books that use everyday objects that are familiar and recognisable help them associate the stories with their broader understanding of language, and this makes the connections more meaningful.
Reading to children is the most effective way to build literacy skills, but active reading is a skill that sometimes takes some work for parents to develop. Stopping to ask questions, pointing to patterns and details, and Oving children room to ask questions and explore the page are all strategies that make reading a dynamic cognitive experience rather than a static one. It is essential that reading be a bridge to learning, and learning requires interaction and engagement.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
Once you have found some books that your little one finds intriguing and exciting, you will likely end up reading them again and again. That is an integral part of the literacy experience because it gives children the opportunity to memorise language patterns and recognise words as they hear them. It also allows children to “read’. a book from memory before they can decipher the words on the page and this boosts confidence and enjoyment.
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