Learn With Me: Early Literacy from A to Z
Early literacy is more than just reading, talking and singing with your child. What you say and share has just as much impact as how it's delivered.
Whether its through books, conversations or jokes, a shared and diverse mix of activities and interactions with young children can shape the way they see, interpret and understand the world around them.
Each month, we'll journey through the alphabet, discovering different ways of creating memories and moments to share with the children in your life.
E is for Explore!
Children naturally explore the world, using all five senses to taste, touch, small, feel, and hear the world around them. Children are fascinated by how things work, what is on the inside and how it is made. When given a safe space, with supervision of course, to explore, young children can be exposed to a multitude of information about their world, both indoors and outdoors.
The best part is that you don’t need to know all the answers. Sometimes, the most fun is in asking the questions and finding the answer together.
Indoor & Outdoor Adventures
Not all exploration has to be done in the wild. There are plenty of safe spaces indoors for children to explore.
- Cabinets – provide child-safe cabinets and let your little ones explore the handles, the interiors and whatever they can safely touch inside the cabinet. Fill a cabinet with towels and hide toys underneath, then let your children make their own discoveries.
- Toys – Little fingers love to poke, prod and push any object they can grasp. Provide them with toys that have moving parts so that their fingers can do what they naturally do in a safe space.
For the days when you are ready to explore past your home, try these locations for more sensory development and experiences.
- The Park – Trees, soil, grass, sand, tanbark, concrete, squirrels, birds and more. The park has dozens of things to explore for young children.
- Nature trails – San José is filled with dozens of trails when you want to be surrounded by trees, streams or grassy fields. Nature trails are great for strengthening vision and hearing skills.
- Wee Explore – The Library has two Wee Explore stations, outdoor sensory water tables and sand tables, for your little explorers. Visit the BLA or EK locations for these unique experiences.
F is for Fingerplays!
Fingerplays are stories told through finger motions that promote and teach fine motor skills. Those skills help the child grip the pen or pencil and begin making their first marks on paper. They can be done anytime and anywhere. The rhyme can cover everything from your child’s interests, to the weather, food or other activities. Fingerplays in any language help children develop their small and large motor skills, listening skills, and comprehension skills through the actions and words that relay the story.
Practice the rhyme until you are familiar with the words and the motions then introduce the rhyme to your child. Let them explore with the motions, change the lyrics or add their own motions and lyrics to the original.
Try it Out!
TWO LITTLE EYES
Two little eyes to look around (point to eyes)
Two little ears to hear a sound (point to ears)
One little nose to smell what’s sweet (point to nose)
One little mouth that likes to eat (pretend to gobble up finger)
Yum, yum, yum!
Books to Share
No matter how you choose to explore and learn, these books are a great start on your new adventure.