Articles & Advice

The Language and Literacy Experiences Children Need

A child’s foundation for reading and writing begins at birth. At each stage of development, children need their parents to interact with them so they can develop their language and literacy skills.

Babies need you to …

orange bulletTalk to them so they can hear the sound of your voice.

orange bulletRead them stories and poems.

orange bulletName objects and people in books for them.

orange bulletHold them in your lap as you look at family photos and books together.

orange bulletLet them pat, chew, hold, or bang a board book, while enjoying the sound of your voice.

orange bulletHold a high-contrast (black-and-white) picture book about 12 inches away from their eyes when they are very young and give them colorful books to look at by the time they are six months old.

Toddlers need you to …

orange bulletPoint out signs and symbols in the world around them.

orange bulletAnswer their “why” questions.

Encourage them to repeat familiar words and rhymes.

orange bulletLet them turn a book’s pages.

orange bulletRead the same book to them over and over again.

Preschoolers need you to …

orange bulletHelp them make sense of print and put it to use.

orange bulletTalk about the details in a book.

orange bulletEncourage them to predict what will happen next in a story.

orange bulletHelp them relate what happens in a book to their own lives.

orange bulletShow them how to write their names.

orange bulletRecord their stories.


Advice for New Parents

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