What is literacy?
In simple terms, literacy is the ability to read and write. But it is so much more than that. According to UNESCO, literacy is now understood as “a means of identification, understanding, interpretation, creation, and communication in an increasingly digital, text-mediated, information-rich and fast-changing world.”
Nurturing a child’s literacy skills is so important for their future that you literally cannot start too early. In this article, we share 10 ways that you can encourage little ones on their literacy journey to success.
10 easy ways to develop children’s literacy skills:
- Reading aloud to your newborn helps them become attuned to your voice, different sounds and tones of language as their hearing develops.
- Teach your toddler to say hello and goodbye in different languages – even the physical act of waving will help them to learn these expressive statements.
- Read as a family (you all need to take a break from screens anyway) and establish reading as a hobby to be enjoyed for a lifetime.
- Encourage storytelling (fictional and real) on a daily basis because oral storytelling is a bridge to written stories.
- Record your children’s stories on your phone or turn them into a book and watch as they realise the magic of transforming spoken stories into written words.
- Get children to describe their experiences in detail and encourage them to share their feelings from a young age (which is also important for their emotional development).
- Play language games to build up children’s vocabulary, develop their comprehension skills and boost their explanatory skills. You could also get a couple of doodle boards (so they can practise the shapes of letters and numbers), flash cards, phonic books and CDs.
- Involve children in your own literacy activities, such as compiling shopping lists, creating invitations, writing cards and keeping a journal.
- Sing together! Singalong songs can really help children to learn new words, practise different sounds and develop their thinking skills.
- Share the joy by giving books instead of cards, passing on your favourite books to others, and donating to community literacy projects.
For more ideas on how to develop a child’s lifelong love of reading, take a look here.
At Truly Toys, we help you to be an even better parent or teacher by providing learning resources for dynamic play that encourage children’s development.
- How to encourage literacy in young children (and beyond) – The Conversation
- 7 ways to boost your child’s early literacy skills — without a book in sight – Great!Schools.org
- Understandings of literacy, Education for all Global Monitoring Report – UNESCO
- Literacy skills are the power for good – Mail & Guardian