The Osceola Reads Team understands the many milestones that come with parenting. That’s why we have researched a few tips to incorporate with your child during different developmental stages to ensure they are prepared for the reading road ahead.
During the first year of your child’s life, your family will be inundated with firsts – first smiles, first “words”, first steps. While enjoying the many firsts that come along, remember it’s never too early to start preparing your child for a lifetime of literacy by:
- Talking to your child
- Reading daily
- Singing and playing music
Talking to Your Child
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, talking to your baby can have lasting positive effects. Cuddling, looking your baby in the eyes, and talking calmly to them is comforting, and makes them feel safe and loved. Listening to your voice can become calming for your child. Answering their sounds with your own words will help them learn the key components of language and how to apply it for future use. They will begin to understand that conversation is an interaction between two or more people. Try simple things, like describing what you are doing throughout your daily routine and when playing games together.
Reading to your baby daily will help them develop their language and the understanding of sounds. Take the time to read short, interactive stories, like nursery rhymes and picture books, pointing to and describing the pictures as you go. Keep conversation going with your baby if they want to touch the pages and babble. Your baby thrives on interactions with you, so smile and talk with them when they babble.
Singing and Playing Music
Singing to your baby and playing music can also be beneficial to your baby as this helps them understand the difference of pitch in your voice. Along with singing to your baby, incorporating games into their day, such as “Peek-a-boo” or “Patty Cake,” will encourage interaction between you and them. Your baby will not only learn through the sound of your voice, but also through the motions and rhyming in the game.
Your child will learn more during the first three to five years than during any other time of their life. You are your child’s first and most important teacher. Take the time from birth to help them have a head start in their future development and learning.