Learn with Me: Early Literacy I & J

young boy playing with educational toy

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.

I is for ... Independence

Independence is an important part of child development. From as young as 2, children are striving for areas of independent action and thought. How to best support the growth of independence of a child will depend on their age and capabilities and situation. Some may be more out-going or more shy than others.

Allowing children to take on age-appropriate tasks will foster problem-solving, communication, teamwork, cooperation and empathy. All valuable skills to take into Kindergarten.

I Can Do It!

Although sometimes inconvenient for grown-up schedules, the natural “I can do it” mentality of young children is a great learning tool. This is their chance to learn new skills, practice emerging skills and really learn about their capabilities and push past obstacle and boundaries.

  • Opportunities & Choices: Provide as many opportunities during the day for the child to make their own choices from getting dressed to cleaning up after meals. “Would you like an apple or banana?”  “Breakfast is all finished, please put your plate on the counter.”
  • Time: Learning any new skill takes time and patience. Giving your child uninterrupted time can help them develop focus and determination as they work to complete a new task, such as buttoning a jacket or putting on shoes. Try to add in extra time into your day so that these moments don’t disrupt your schedule too much.
  • Places to Practice: Set up a chair in front of the counter in the kitchen and let your child stir the pot or bowl, shred lettuce with their fingers, or just watch as you prepare a meal. Bring a chair to the laundry room and have your child help pull clothes out of the washing machine or load the dryer.
  • Talk: Talk to your child about what you are doing and how they can help. Being involved in a typically grown-up setting lets them know that this is something they can one day do on their own.

J is for ... Jokes

By 3 or 4 months old, babies are starting to form their first laugh. A sense of humor is a skill that helps with stress-management, social-emotional development, critical thinking and so much more.

Laughing and smiling are universal methods of communication and can convey happiness and joy and creative positive relationships. Being able to make jokes shows a deeper understanding of their world.

  • Encourage humor by being silly yourself (put shoes on the wrong feet, make silly faces, etc.)
  • Tell your own age-appropriate jokes, or explain more complicated jokes to your child.
  • Create a playful environment. Children all need room to explore and discover what they think is fun.

As children get older and have had more experiences in the world, you can introduce joke books, puns and other more advanced silliness into your daily routine.

Books to Share

For books to inspire and model independence, or books to tickle your funny bone, visit your SJPL branch location to find more titles to share with your child.

Time to Say Bye-ByeStill StuckPouch!First TimesBear and BeeKnock, Knock! Who's There?WormsKids' Silliest Riddles


Learn with Me: Early Literacy A to Z - Previous Posts

  1. A is for Alliteration  B is for Bilingual Books
  2. C is for Create  D is for Dance
  3. E is for Explore  F is for Fingerplays
  4. G is for Games  H is for Helping
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