As language abilities develop in infancy, your child is also learning to read! Research has shown that early exposure to printed words will likely influence a child's literacy skills. Parents are their children's first and most important teachers. Parents who read to their children are introducing them to phonemic awarness, sound and letter recognition. The seeds of a rich vocabulary grow best in a natural learning environment.
Literacy development is linked to emerging language skills in many ways. Little ones love to snuggle and listen to stories. They quickly learn to repeat or fill in words in familiar stories. When parents read nursery rhymes to their children, they are really teaching them to rhyme, and rhyming will eventually lead to identifying sound patterns in written words.
Here are some ideas to promote language and literacy skills at home.
* Read to your child every day! Build those reading skills early and often.
* Point out letters on billboards, buildings, traffic signs and in books.
* Play alphabet games. Encourage your child to learn the sounds and letters in his/her name and to find those letters on cereal boxes, books, etc.
* Play word games. Sing rhymes and make up new words. Does anyone remember pig-latin?
* Try sound matching activities. Pick a sound and ask your child to think of more words that begin with that sound. Better yet, take turns!
* You can teach sound blending by slowly saying the sounds in simple words. Say the sounds (not letters) in a word; for example, say 'c-a-t' and ask your child to blend the sounds to form a word.
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