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.
M is for ... Music
Music is as much a part of early literacy as is reading and talking. Music can strengthen listening and attention skills, improve word recognition and can increase vocabulary.
By adding motion and movement to music, we’re not only strengthening a child’s auditory and cognitive skills, we’ve also exercising their physical coordination skills and working out their large and small muscles.
Music can be songs from the radio, nursery rhymes or silly songs you make up yourself. Each opportunity for a child has to listen to a melody helps increase their understanding of their environment and the words that make up their world.
Activities to do at Home
- Dance Party! Put on some music and dance! Dance from room to room, dance while you clean up toys, dance while you brush your teeth. Dance the day away!
- Pots, Pans and Wooden Spoons. Pull out a few items from the kitchen and let your child explore noise and melody by banging on some pots and pans with a wooden spoon.
- Freeze Dance. Strengthen listening and attention skills by putting on some music while your child dances and moves around. Pause the music and your child needs to freeze in place. Press play to continue the dance. Repeat as desired.
- My Mirror. Make a motion and have your child copy your moves. Then your child makes a motion and you copy their moves. Take turns and create a silly, unique dance that is all yours.
N is for ... Non-Fiction
While most children are drawn to imaginative and playful fiction books, non-fiction books can be just as entertaining and as fun to explore.
Nonfiction books, information books based on true stories, can fill a child’s world with a variety of background knowledge and context on favorite subjects. Nonfiction books can build on a child’s vocabulary skills as well as increase their knowledge of a particular topic (i.e. garbage trucks and dinosaurs).
How to make Nonfiction Books Fun to Read
- Emphasize Pictures. When non-fiction books prove to be too wordy, focus on the pictures on the page. Point out real life versions whenever possible.
- Connect the dots. Look for non-fiction books that match an upcoming event, experience or interaction your child may have. This will help prepare them for what is coming up and will provide fun conversations afterwards.
- Topic to Topic. Nonfiction books range a variety of topics from food to sports, media and crafts. Explore the non-fiction shelves together to find information about topics that not only interest your child, but also interest you. Share your knowledge with your child through these shared experiences.