You know those scribbles you see your joyful toddler jotting on their paper? Although scattered and seemingly mindless, don’t disregard just yet!!
Scribbling and drawing lines is one of the first signs that your child is starting to become aware of and comprehend written communication. Children like to imitate real life situations and often times will pretend to write as a form of copying what they observe the adults around them doing. This is a great opportunity to promote awareness and learning with your child! Here are three super simple things that you can do to promote and encourage early literacy and print awareness.
- Read, read, read! Reading is actually a great way to learn about print. Point at the words while you read so that your child understands that each word sounds and looks different.
- Point out print in every day life. If you are at a store and your child has to use the restroom, you can say, “Let’s look for the ‘restroom’ sign” or at a restaurant, “let’s read the menu to see what they serve”.
- Probably the simplest and most fundamental thing that you can do is speak well and clearly to your children. Use the right words when having a conversation. If your child says “I want mimi” respond by saying, “I will get you your MILK”. Although it is absolutely adorable to hear your children say words in their cute toddler ways, it’s also important for you to stretch their vocabulary by modeling conversation skills. This will give them the foundation they need to build literacy skills as they grow and learn.
You are your child’s first teacher, have fun with them and you never know, they may teach you something in return!