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: Retell your favorite stories with toys
Telling stories with toys is a great way to energize your child’s favorite tales and helps encourage them to learn by playing. It also improves their narrative storytelling skills and their reading comprehension. Most of all, when reading stories is combined with play, your child gains a new love for reading and stories.
Any toy your child has can be used to tell their story; puppets, stuffed animals, dolls, toy boats and cars, literally anything can now be star of your child’s very own play. You can also use props and silly voices to make the story even more fun. Depending on the complexity of the prop and your child’s age, just building the props together can also be a rewarding experience.
You can use anyplace for the setting of your tale. If the book tells the story of a jolly pirate maybe you can incorporate bath time into your activity and tell the story in the bathtub.
The only limit to the storytelling and the fun is you and your child’s imagination. So, break out the toy box and the storybooks, put on your imagination caps and start having fun getting ready to read!