Reading to your young child each day is one of the most effective things you can do. The amount of learning that takes place while your little one sits cuddled in your lap in the afternoon, or before bed, is remarkable. Before she is even aware of what is happening, you are teaching her how to hold a book and turn the pages correctly. You are communicating information about written symbols and story structure.
Learning to read is a continuum. You build knowledge every time you read to and interact with your little one. Every experience and every conversation moves him closer to becoming a reader. Even toddlers who look at a simple book that states “I see a tree, I see a book, I see a heart,” where the pictures match the words on each page, is engaging in valuable pre-reading skills. They are recognizing how letters and words have meaning, and pictures can provide clues.
So as soon as your child is born, create a culture that values language development. Interact with your newborn. Regularly talk with her, read and share fun stories, and display letters and words around your home. Do these things and you will indeed begin to lay a foundation.
Activity of the Week
Make your own ABC book using construction paper and pictures. Find a bunch of pictures in a magazine (or print them from the Internet) beginning with each letter sound. Use uppercase letters and glue the corresponding pictures onto the construction paper. Then bind all the pages with staples or string!