What children need to know about reading and writing before they can read or write is called early literacy.
As your child’s caregiver, you are their first teacher. The greatest amount of brain growth occurs between birth and age five, a time your child spends with you. By age three, 85% of the brain’s core structure is formed. As a child ages, the brain gets rid of weaker synaptic connections in favor of stronger ones. We can improve the strength of synaptic connections with experiences that reinforce learning that has already occurred.
In our Building Blocks to Early Literacy series, we will share early literacy tips for you to do at home to help your child get ready to learn to read.
Today’s Early Literacy Tip is: Make Up Rhymes with Your Child.
Rhyming is a very important way to introduce your child to words and get them ready to read. It helps children hear different sounds inside words and teaches similar word sounds. All of this gives the child a sense of Phonological Awareness. This awareness which just means that the child understands the sounds they are hearing. When they understand what the sound is, they are far more comfortable repeating it.
So, why rhyming words? Because it’s FUN! You can make up a rhyme about pretty much anything you and your child see or hear. You can start the rhyme and let your child do the next verse, see how long you can go. Or, if you are out, you can point out a sign or words for different things you see and have your child find a rhyme for it. It does not have to make sense and the sillier the rhyme is the better. Remember, the key is to have fun.
When your child better understands how sounds work and fit together, the better they will be prepared to read and using rhymes is a great way to get started.
Some good rhyming book authors to share with your children are:
– Jan Thomas (especially Rhyming Dust Bunnies) eBooks
– Margaret Wise Brown eBooks
– Dr. Seuss (of course!) eBooks
– Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault eBooks
– Karen Beaumont
– Karma Wilson eBooks
– Shel Silverstein (poetry) eBooks
– Jane Yolen eBooks