Guest blog post by: Vivian Yau, Smile Speech Therapy
Early literacy skills refer to what children know about reading and writing BEFORE they can actually read and write. Focusing on these skills in an interactive and fun way can set young children up to become successful readers as well as develop a love for reading.
Here are some ideas on how to target early literacy skills at home with your child:
Print Motivation—enjoying and having fun with books
Find books that are interesting to your child and follow their lead as you share the book together. Make it engaging by using facial expressions, different voices, and acting out the book.
Vocabulary—the more words you know, the easier it is to read
Use specific words with your child and explain the meanings of words.
Narrative Skills—re-telling stories and talking about events that happen
Encourage your child to pretend play and make up stories. Have your child tell about special events that happened to them (e.g., birthday party).
Letter Recognition—knowing that each letter has a name and has different sounds
Point out letters in the environment and talk about the sound that it makes. Talk about the letters in your child’s name.
Phonological Awareness—hearing and playing with the sounds in words
Clap out syllables in words. Talk about the first sound in words and rhyming words.
Print Awareness—knowing that letters and words have meaning
Point out the words while reading books aloud. Point out print you see in the environment such as: road signs, food labels, store signs.
If you are interested in learning more strategies for targeting early literacy skills and seeing them in action, Smile Speech Therapy is offering a series of Language and Literacy Parent and Child Classes for 2 and 3 year old children.
Please contact us for more information and mention Mommy Connections for a discounted rate, by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling: (416) 488 – 7807
Vivian is a mother of 3 young boys with 14 years of experience helping children improve their speech and language skills. She is the founder of a new private practice called Smile Speech Therapy which provides in-home or in-clinic (Bayview/Eglinton) speech and language services to children in Toronto and the surrounding area.