Sit down with the children tomorrow and crack open their favorite stories--tomorrow is Book Lover's Day! This day is celebrated on August 9th (and sometimes the first Saturday in November)--but why not celebrate it twice? We don't have to stress how important literacy is to a child's overall development and success in school down the road. Literacy skills are the building blocks for language, reading, and writing development! Here is a great handout from Zero to Three about early literacy development: what to look for, early literacy behaviors, ways to share with children, and even what kinds of books children like from infants to toddlers!
We've also got some tips on developing early literacy skills for infants, toddlers, and twos, from Story S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-R-S for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos by Shirley Raines, Karen Miller, and Leah Curry-Rood:
- Give children interesting things to talk about and opportunities to express themselves.
- Tell them short stories!
- Expose children to pictures and a variety of images (which are also symbols).
- Read to them from age-appropriate books.
- Allow them to handle books and use them freely as toys.
- Communicate the attitude that reading books is fun! (Because it is!)
- Provide diverse experiences with people and places that will foster learning and increase children's understanding about the world.
- Make sure children are in good health, checking on potential hearing, vision, or speech problems that might prevent the normal development of pre-reading skills.
We've got a great idea below to encourage sharing and literacy development skills--check it out!
- Library books
What to Do
- Ask the children to bring their library books to circle time. Sing the following song with the children."The Library Song" (Tune: "If You're Happy and You Know It") It's quiet in the library, sh-sh. It's quiet in the library, sh-sh. We must be quiet. We must use whispers. 'Cause it's quiet in the library, sh-sh.
- Each child holds a book with the title showing so everyone can see it. Each child says the name of his book (or the teacher reads the title and the child repeats it).
- After children have shared the title of their books, they take turns showing the other children their favorite page in the book and talk about that page. Encourage the children to express what they liked about the story. After the children have shared their books, ask the children which of the books they would like you to read during the week.
More to Do
- This activity and words of the song can be adapted to the theme of any sharing activity!
Let us know what books you read with your children in the comments!