Everyday experiences to support your child's literacy skills
Children's ability to read and write evolves from the skills they develop in their early years. Sharing stories with your child is the best way to make sure that they are primed with the skills they need to be a reader in later life.
You can help your baby to develop their literacy skills by:
Allowing plenty of time when reading books for your baby to focus on the pictures on each page. Point and comment on what you can see in the picture as well as reading the words of the story. If you baby points at or taps the book, name what they have pointed at.
Singing during everyday routines with your baby at home such as changing their nappy or putting them to bed. Think of a familiar rhyme or song and change the words so it matches the routine.
You can help your child aged 1-2 to develop their literacy skills by:
Singing finger rhymes or action songs at home that have actions for your child to join in with. This will help their developing fine and gross motor skills.
Collecting leaflets while out and about, for example from the local supermarket. Try and find ones that will interest your child, for example from a zoo if they like animals. Your child will love looking at the pictures and it helps them to understand that printed materials come in many different forms.
You can help your child aged 2-3 to develop their literacy skills by:
Encouraging your child to fill in missing words from a familiar story when reading at home. For example if you were reading 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' you could say "But he was still...." and pause to see if your child can finish "hungry!"
Packing a notepad and crayons so that your child can draw things they see while you are out and about. This could be on the train, in the car or even sat in the shopping trolley! Encourage your child to explain the marks they have made and ask questions to support their understanding and their vocabulary.
You can help your child aged 3-4 to develop their literacy skills by:
Playing 'I spy' with your child during everyday activities such as shopping. Use the initial sound in words to encourage your child to find something. Make sure you use the sound of the letter and not the letter name.
Asking your child to help you peg out washing at home. Using pegs is great for building children's finger strength and pincer grip.
You can help your child aged 4-5 to develop their literacy skills by:
Encouraging your child to draw letters with their finger on the side of the bath at bathtime. Role model to your child how to use their index finger to form the letters, encourage your child to identify the letter and sound.
Sounding out words in everyday activities at home, for example "Can you get in the c-ar?" or "We are going to the sh-o-p-s."
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