Everyday activities build early literacy every day

January 13, 2016

A Chinese Mother teaches her baby to reading book in home.

Emergent, or early literacy, does not mean early reading or teaching babies to read from birth. Emergent literacy refers to the skills your child can learn from you in the early years. These early experiences start with conversations and interactions between parents/caregivers and their children. Research tells us that engaging children in a range of these activities provides the best foundation for later learning.

Below are just a few ideas. See how many you’re already doing, and give others a try

  • Having books available where you child can access and explore them (turn the pages, look at the pictures, even chewing the book counts!)
  • Making lists or timetables of your week – you can use pictures and words for young children.
  • Pointing out signs, words on posters, letters or words on the sides of shops, letters and sounds in your child’s name – anything you might see out and about.
  • Commenting or highlighting any interesting text such as bold print, large print or speech balloons when sharing books
  • Helping children understand a story as you tell it – who were the characters, was there a problem, what was the action or outcome?
  • Taking the time to explain the meaning of tricky words.
  • Pointing to words as you read them
  • Clapping out the syllables in words, and commenting on any rhyming words.
  • Singing nursery rhymes.
  • Cooking can become a family event with emphasis on the words of the recipe or the procedure for how things are made (visit your library to find cook books with pictures for young children)