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Families Play a Key Role in Children’s Literacy

From the moment babies are born, they start developing literacy skills through their relationship with their parents and family.   By talking, reading, singing, and playing with your infant or toddler, you provide the foundation your child will need to develop language and reading skills.

Early literacy skills include listening, speaking, reading, and writing. For children with disabilities or developmental delays, those skills may mature more slowly than they do in typically developing children but they need the same type of exposure and perhaps even more of it.  Here are some things you can do every day to help your baby develop important early literacy skills.

Encourage Listening

    • Respond to your infant’s cooing

    • Talk to infants and toddlers

    • Increase vocabulary by naming things in the child’s environment (i.e., body parts, colors, clothing, food, toys)

    • Sing songs and recite rhymes daily

    • Make sounds of the animals you see in books

    • Give simple directions to your child

    • Listen to music, and move or clap to the beat

    • Read stories and talk about illustrations.

    • Point to objects and ask, “What is this?  Which one do you play with?”

    • Increase understanding of prepositions and adjectives by asking questions about the illustrations:   Which animal is bigger, smaller, etc.  Point to the dog on the mat.  Which animal is under the tree?

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