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 During Your Daily Transitions
Everyone’s days are made up of transitions, moments throughout the day both big and small. Your child’s day is not that much different and sometimes these transitions can cause stress and discomfort. One great way to mitigate this discomfort is to sing your way through them.
Singing is a very important factor getting your child ready to read. Singing helps slow down language to a point where your child can better understand the smaller parts that make up what they are hearing. Singing through your daily transitions helps make these potentially stressful times more fun.
Singing to your child during diaper time, while they are getting dressed, at mealtime, during bath time and especially at bedtime gives your child something to focus on through these times of possible discomfort.
It doesn’t really matter what you sing or how you sing it, just try and make the words appropriate to the transition. For example, a song about food before mealtime, maybe a playful sea shanty at bath time or a soothing lullaby at bedtime. If you are able to keep the same tune for specific transitions your child may be able to figure out what time of day it is simply by associating the tune with that daily transition. If not, however, that is fine too; you and your child will come to enjoy the time you spend together, singing your way through the day.
For potential songs you can catch one of our virtual storytimes: Rhyme Time programs are a great resource for finding appropriate songs. Also, check out a Theme Backpack! These storytimes-in-a-bag often come with music, or suggested songs, and topics include: cooking, school, snow, bath time, bedtime, potty training and dozens more. In our catalog search “theme backpack” and choose “Any Field” in the Search by field. Watch our video about Theme Backpacks to see them in action: