Literacy is most commonly understood as reading and writing. But before children can read and write, they need to learn about sounds, words, language, books and stories. You have a vital role to play in helping your child with early literacy development.Encouraging literacy development Literacy development is a vital part of your child’s overall development. It’s the foundation for doing well at school, socialising with others, developing independence, managing money and working.But before your child learns to read and write, he needs to develop the building blocks for literacy – the ability to speak, listen, understand, watch and draw.And as she gets older, your child also needs to learn about the connection between letters on a page and spoken sounds. For this to happen, she needs plenty of experience with:
You can help with all these areas of your child’s early literacy development by:
And the great news is that you can do this in ways that are fun for both of you.The language experiences that children have before they start school form powerful brain connections. These connections are used for language, thinking and understanding. Without activities like talking, singing and reading, the brain doesn’t develop these important connections.Communicating: its importance in literacy development Back-and-forth communication with your baby helps to develop your child’s ability to speak, listen and understand as he gets older.For example, you might notice your child responds to your smiles and baby talk. She might try to imitate your sounds and facial expressions. When you repeat your child’s early words, it encourages two-way conversation and helps your child learn words and build language skills.Another example is singing with your child, which teaches him about the rise and fall of sounds. It also introduces him to the music and stories of his culture.What you can do
Speaking more than one language has lots of benefits for children. Read our article on raising bilingual children for information and tips on supporting your bilingual child’s literacy development.
Reading: its importance in literacy developmentIt’s a good idea to read with your child often. It’s best to start reading from birth, but it’s never too late to begin. Reading with children from an early age helps them develop a solid foundation for literacy. It also promotes bonding and is good for your relationship with your child.Reading with your child:
What you can do
Rhyme: its importance in literacy developmentRhyming is a great way to teach children the connection between the sound of a word and how it’s written.
You might like to read about more activities to promote literacy. And if you’re worried that your child might be having early literacy difficulties, it’s a good idea to talk with a professional, like your paediatrician, your child’s early childhood teacher, or your General Practitioner (GP).
Cradle cap is the oily, scaly crust that babies sometimes get on their scalps, in their body folds and on their torsos. Although cradle cap looks uncomfortable, it doesn’t usually bother your baby. READ MORE