Young children need to have a range of skills before they are ready to learn to read and write. Luckily, you can help them develop these skills by doing what comes naturally to most children – play and have fun!
We’ve developed a list of suggestions that you can do with your preschooler to help foster their emerging literacy (reading and writing skills).
Imagine snuggling up to someone you love and having their undivided attention as they tell you a story every night.
Bonding with your child is just one of the many benefits of reading with young children. Time and again the research indicates that reading books to children from a young age is one of the most effective ways of building their emerging language and literacy skills.
The reading helps children develop their vocabulary and understanding of how language works. Books also provide a great window to the world, and assist children to build their knowledge, understanding and imagination.
Children also tend to learn to value reading as they get older and are more likely to become avid readers if they are read to when they are younger.
Holding and turning the pages of a picture book or magazine helps children develop fine motor skills and to also understand how books work.
Time spent looking at pictures and discussing what is in them help children develop language skills and stimulates their curiosity and interest.
Many children enjoy singing songs with actions or listening to nursery rhymes. Participating in these activities assists children to develop their understanding of language.
Singing songs with actions also provides an opportunity to learn beats and rhythms as well as develop coordination skills.
Children must be able to coordinate the muscles in their hands, fingers and wrists to read and write properly. These fine motor skills are essential for writing and holding small things, such as the pages of a book.
Examples of activities that allow children to practice their fine motor skills are finger painting, doing puzzles or playing with blocks, Lego or board games.
Sensory activities stimulate the senses and include touching, tasting, smelling, moving, seeing or hearing. Sensory plays assists brain development and forms a base for a wide range of learning including language development, fine and gross motor skills and problem solving.
Playing with slime or play dough, or drawing letters in sand are all examples of sensory play. Other examples include smelling food, listening to a rattle or music.
Windermere Child & Family Services offer both Long Day Care and Family Day Care Services in Melbourne’s south east.