The Importance of Conversation
Babies are born wired to pay attention to sound and language. Starting from a very young age it is important to engage in meaningful conversations with children. This could be as simple as talking to your child about the world around them – describing people, events, and places to them in great detail. Even if they can’t talk back to you yet, they are learning so much from you! Another great way to expose children to more vocabulary is to use multiple words to describe things… use the “fancy” words! Consistently doing this will introduce children to a multitude of words and, as a result, they will increase their oral language and vocabulary skills at a very young age.
Develop an Appreciation for Reading
It’s so important to help children develop a love of reading. Whether you’re reading Goodnight Moon or your local grocery store ad, make it enjoyable for them to engage in the act of reading. When they sit on your lap to listen to a story discuss the photographs or illustrations on the pages, then read the words with an animated voice. Get them excited about reading with you – whatever you may be reading to them! Chances are, they will develop a favorite book and want to listen to you read it again and again. I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I read the Sesame Street ABC book with my son when he was about 10 months old. It was his favorite. It is amazing to watch young children develop a love of reading.
Fun, Fun, Fun
A great way to have fun with your child and introduce them to rhyming words and word associations is by reading poems, singing songs, and reading rhyming stories. This will help them form connections and create relationships with sounds and words. Rhyming is a great phonemic awareness activity and focusing on this early on will create a strong foundation for future skill acquisition. Sing and read to children with animated gestures and voices. Your child will learn and have a blast with you while doing so!
Here are some fun songs, poems, or nursery rhymes to try out with your young child.
- Sing the ABCs
- Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
- Humpty Dumpty
- I’m a Little Teapot
- Star Light, Star Bright
- Row, Row, Row Your Boat
- Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
- Jack and Jill
- Hey Diddle Diddle
- One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
The most important thing to remember is to have fun helping your child develop a deep appreciation for reading and learning at a young age. By doing these simple things with your child early on, you will be setting them up for reading success in the future. Stay tuned for future blog posts, as we dive into the development of reading.
Do you remember how you learned to love reading? Share your story with us! We’d love to hear.