Early literacy is everything that a child knows about reading and writing before they are able to actually read and write. These skills are important because early literacy creates the foundation for your child to become a successful reader.
There are six basic skills that a child will learn as a result of early literacy. They are print motivation, vocabulary, narrative skills, phonological awareness, print awareness, and letter knowledge. Ways to build their skills include talking, singing, reading, writing/drawing, and playing.
Singing slows down words, which helps children hear the smaller sounds in words and makes it possible to hear them broken down into different syllables. It is a great way to increase your child’s phonological awareness, which is hearing and playing with smaller sounds in words.
Singing will also help to increase your child’s vocabulary because some songs have words that are not used very often in normal conversation. Be sure to explain new words in the song so your child will know what they mean. You can also emphasize rhyming words in songs to help introduce new forms of language.
Singing also will help introduce new concepts, such as ABC’s and 123’s. These songs don’t have to be sung in to the usually tunes. Try singing the “Alphabet Song” to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” as a challenge.
A great resource to promote early literacy is DayByDayVA. This website provides a Family Literacy Calendar, which has songs, stories, videos, and more to help promote early literacy. Each day, there are different activities for you and your child to do together. (Note: As of November 2017, Tumblebooks is no longer supported by the Library of Virginia or Handley Regional Library.)