Promoting early literacy in the home is easy. In fact, it’s so easy I decided to make a BIG list of 20 ways to raise early literacy awareness — without really being aware you’re doing it.
1. Read your favorite magazine or newspaper in front of your child. Not TO your child, just in front of them so they can see you reading.
2. Point out the first letter of your child’s first name. Then, encourage her to find that letter all over around town! M is for Market Street — and Mckenzie!
3. How many eggs are left in the fridge? How many bananas on the counter? Grapes? (For the advanced counters.)
4. Open a picture book. Ask your child to tell you what she thinks happens in it.
5. Start reading a book upside down. Let your child correct you.
6. Ask your child to identify the color of your shirt. Make it multiple choice if you have to!
7. Can you write your name? (Even if it’s scribbles, it still counts.)
8. Remember those “I’m Feeling…” posters with all the silly faces on it? Get one and ask your child to find the happy, sad, angry and excited faces. Then read the words to them.
9. When reading anything to your child, follow the words with your finger.
10. Make some cookies. How many cookies did we make?
11. While you’re cooking that recipe, ask your child to help you with the easy tasks! Get three eggs from the fridge, stir the batter, spoon the dough onto the tray.
12. Sing lots of songs. Your child doesn’t care if you’re tone deaf.
13. Remember those nursery rhymes? They are timeless for a reason. Say them over and over again!
14. Never start a story time in anger! Seriously, if you child is fussy or upset and just doesn’t want to read a book at that moment — don’t make them! No one wants to make story time a punishment.
15. Familiarize your child with the STOP sign — then point out the word STOP wherever it is shown.
16. Play red light, green light!
17. Make a grocery list, go to the grocery store and let your child cross off the items on the list.
18. Find a picture book with a new word in it! Teach your child the new word and ask them to define it for you again once you read the word in the book.
19. Every Seseme Street show is “sponsored” by a different letter. Maybe you can have a letter, number, color or word of the day at your house!
20. Narrate your day. Talk about how you get ready for work, how you clean dishes, how you make the bed. Talk through everything!