There are several activities you can engage in to support and encourage babies and toddlers as emergent pre-readers. These activities focus on developing foundational literacy skills and fostering a love for reading. Adventure Babies have some great tips to help your baby or toddler to become a reader.
- Read Aloud: Read to your child regularly, exposing them to a variety of books and stories. Use expressive voices and encourage them to ask questions or make predictions about the story.
- Picture Walks: Before reading a new book, take a “picture walk” with your child. Look at the illustrations together and discuss what they think the story might be about.
- Letter Recognition: Introduce letters to the child and help them recognize both uppercase and lowercase letters. Start with the letters in their name and gradually expand to other letters. Point them out wherever you see them and become excited about finding letters.
- Letter Sounds: Teach the sounds associated with each letter.
- Rhyme Time: Engage in rhyming activities, such as reading rhyming books, singing nursery rhymes, or playing rhyming word games. This helps develop phonemic awareness.
- Alphabet Games: Play games that involve letter identification or matching. For example, you can hide magnetic letters around the house to find and match.
- Environmental Print: Point out letters and words in your environment, such as signs, labels, or packaging. Help them understand that print carries meaning.
- Storytelling: Encourage your child to create and tell their own stories. This can be done through drawing, puppet shows, or simply using their imagination. Write down their stories and read them together.
- Visit the Library: Take regular trips to the library to expose the child to a wide range of books. Let them choose their own books and encourage them to explore different genres and topics.
Remember, these activities should be fun and engaging. Tailor them to your child’s interests and abilities, and always provide positive reinforcement and encouragement. That way they should help your baby or toddler become a reader.