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We all know that literacy is a vital key in children’s lives. Parents are constantly asking me what they can do to get their child ready to read, to recognize letters, or to write their name. These are great things to learn to do! But literacy starts much early than the age where they begin to read and write and continues on beyond when they start reading. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be posting tips to support literacy, broken up into age groups of birth-1 year olds, toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary aged.

No matter what your child’s age is, these are general tips that you can do to encourage literacy development.

1. Read to your child daily Small and tall, every child should be read to daily. Whether it’s a part of your bedtime routine or maybe a relaxing time before dinner, make a specific time you plan on reading together every day. If you don’t set aside a time to do this daily, it can be easily overlooked!

2. Make your house a literacy rich environment This means more than just having books. You should have various forms of reading materials for children and adults from books to magazines to newspapers. Also, be sure to have various writing materials available. I will expand on this more later, especially in the post for preschoolers and elementary students.

5. Talk and sing From before birth, your child is hearing your voice. Keep talking their whole life! Sure, they may eventually tune you out. But singing and talking with (as opposed to at or to) your child will help foster receptive and expressive language development.

4. Read to yourself daily Modeling reading as an adult shows your child that you value reading for pleasure as well as purpose. If they see you enjoying reading, they are more likely to enjoy it as well.

Read about your child’s specific age:

Supporting Literacy During Infancy

Supporting Literacy During Toddlerhood

Supporting Literacy During the Preschool Years

Supporting Literacy During the Elementary Years