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: Write Everywhere!
Learning to write is one of the most important steps your child can take when getting ready to read. But many of us think of writing as just letters and words put together in a sentence, and while that is a very significant advancement, writing can take many forms in your child’s journey to reading, and it’s never to early to start to develop good writing skills.
Did you know that scribbling is just early writing? Even using a stick to draw or scribble in the sand can be writing. Writing can be done anywhere and everywhere using a variety of materials. Broken crayons make perfect tools to help your child, in fact experts generally agree that little tools help little hands much better when learning to form the all-important proper writing grip.
Finger-painting also helps your child explore writing and developing fine motor skills. You can use colored bath foam or bubble bath to encourage your child with a whole bathtub as their canvas for practicing early writing skills. Even at snack-time, a high-chair tray and some colored fruit yogurt makes for a tasty masterpiece. If you aren’t excited for that type of mess, you can get a bowl or bucket of water, a sponge or paintbrush and let your child scribble or fingerpaint right on the sidewalk. Clean up is a breeze as Mother Nature will clear your child’s canvas almost right away.
You may believe that writing is something that your child will learn when they get to school but with the right materials, and a little creativity anything and everything can become a tool helping your child be leaps ahead when it comes time for them to read and write