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: Sing Songs at Different Speeds
There are five practices in the Every Child Ready to Read program: Reading, Talking, Writing, Playing and Singing. The one we’re going to talk about today is Singing. Singing encourages your child to listen attentively and hold patterns better in their memory, improving memory and attention span.
Listening and moving to music helps a child feel rhythm and better understand how their bodies work; it improves muscle control and balance.
You don’t have to dance, run around in circles to Burl Ives, Silver and Gold if that’s your jam (my son did), just have a good time letting the music move your child.Librarian Erik
Once your child is comfortable moving to music and songs you can both start to “play” with song by singing and moving at different speeds. Try singing the song faster and faster until you go as fast as you can, then go slower and slower. You can sing and move like this during storytime or clean-up time and it will make the activities even more fun.
Some songs naturally lend themselves to this kind of activity. The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes are perfect and we’ve even used them for this purpose during our storytimes but there are plenty of options available in our children’s CD section.
So break out the beats and mix it up with your child, you’ll both have a great time getting ready to read!