Early Literacy and the Summer Reading Program
The Summer Reading Program is here!! And that means you’re hearing about preventing the summer slide and keeping your school-age kiddos reading. But what about babies and toddlers?
OK, maybe they don’t need to prevent the summer slide. But little ones do need a foundation of literacy development to succeed at reading. The first three years of a child’s life are seriously important because this is when early language and literacy development take place. With a young one, literacy development is about listening and speaking rather than reading and writing.
Need some ideas or reassurance that you are sufficiently nurturing your child’s literacy development? Here are a few easy suggestions and ideas:
- Let your child handle books. Let them choose the books to read and turn the pages.
- Make books part of your daily routine. Before bedtime or naps, while waiting in a doctor’s office or another waiting room, read with them. Don’t worry if you don’t finish the story, little ones are not the best at sitting still, so another opportunity to snuggle up with them is wonderful.
- Incorporate music. When you notice an animal that might be found on Old MacDonald’s farm, sing it out! Also, look for picture books that are meant to be sung.
- Incorporate rhymes and rhyming stories into everyday life. Doing so will teach sound awareness. Try matching rhymes to activities, such as reciting “Pease Porridge Hot” with breakfast or singing “Wheels on the Bus” when seeing a bus. Or you can make a rhyme/song cube and let your little one toss or kick it. Then you two can sing or chant the rhyme or song chosen.
- Talk about the book and pictures while reading. Start with the cover. Explain the story and talk about the illustrations. Ask your child to find the red balloon, find the dog, etc.
- Ask questions. Use the book as a conversation starter about familiar objects and activities. Relate the story to something or someone in your child’s life. Encourage them to ask questions as well.
- Show your child the words. Start by running your finger along the words as you read them.
- Don’t be afraid to create voices and make noises. Encourage your little one to make animal noises and other sounds. Have an awesome accent in your back pocket? Use it!
Most of all, don’t be intimidated. You can do this! And if you need help, the library is here to help. And that brings us back to … the Summer Reading Program!
Summer reading at Rolling Hills Library includes individualized goal setting (by books, minutes or pages) and prizes to encourage listening to and reading books. Have a school-age kiddo? They can read to younger siblings to work on their summer reading goals! Adults can sign up for the Summer Reading Program, too.
The Summer Reading Program includes amazing performers, Storytimes and craft programs to foster pre-reading skills and encourage the love of reading and learning. Come see us and sign up today!
Your Early Literacy and Storytime Librarian,