Happy Thursday Trinity CDC Families,
I hope you have all had a great week and are looking forward to time off next week with your families and friends. As we begin the walk of Advent leading to Christmas I wanted to take time to share some ideas and activities that will help draw your family closer and encourage language and literacy skills with your children. My favorite gift to give and get is a good book. For me just holding a book brings back many warm memories of my family. Books always have played a big role in our families holiday traditions and I am really looking forward to sharing them with my grand daughter Elsie.
After decades of research and millions of dollars spent, the number one indicator for developing a successful reader is reading aloud to children. “The single most important activity for building knowledge for their eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.” Becoming a Nation of Readers, The Commission on Reading 1985.
Add storytelling to your list of Christmas Traditions, or start new ones. Fisher Price has a Nativity Set that is baby and child friendly. Read a shortened version of the Christmas Story, let your child play with and explore the Nativity set. A great example is the board book,Christmas in the Manger by Nola Buck and Felicia Bond or The Christmas Story by Tracy Harrast and Carl Moore. Older children can begin to reenact the story with simple props like old nightgowns or handkerchiefs and a baby doll. These types of activities help strengthen comprehension and build language literacy skills, not to mention developing a better understanding of our faith and beliefs.
It is never too early or too late to read to your children. Quality infant care is based on individualized care and attention that builds relationships with caregivers, trust through tender routine and nurturing, and language through songs, stories and communication.
I have been doing a lot of interviewing lately for assistant teacher positions and the assistant director position and one question I ask of everyone is, “What does quality infant care look like?” I have gotten plenty of good answers, but no one ever includes reading in their long list of daily activities! What could be easier than to sit on the floor reading and singing with eager babies and toddlers. Sometimes the most important things get buried in the mundane.
Slow down this Christmas Season, enjoy your time with family and friends, start new traditions with your family. A great book is a good way to start!
We read aloud to babies so they:
→ associate reading and books with good feelings.
→ hear sounds, rhythms, and words.
→ use their senses — listening, seeing, touching.
→ make sounds. They coo, gurgle, babble, and eventually, talk.
→ point to pictures that the reader can name for them.
→ begin to understand that pictures represent objects.
Some things to try!
→ Be sure the baby can see the pictures. Tummy time is a great place to start. Lie down on your tummy too and turn the pages.
→ Play with words, sing, and make up rhymes; include the baby’s name.
→ Your baby will pull, grab, taste – don’t be surprised, this is how they learn.
→ Offer the baby a toy to hold and chew while listening to you read.
→ Let the baby turn the pages if he or she is more interested in the book than listening to you read. He or she will still be learning about books and enjoying your company.
→ Point to, name, and talk about things in pictures.
→ Talk to your baby about what’s happening in the pictures.
→ Ask: “Where’s the . . .?” “What’s that . . .?” Wait for a response.
→ Encourage a baby to join in—moo like a cow or finish a repetitive phrase.
→ Stay on a page as long as a baby is interested.
“Shared book reading times that involve talking about the book and other topics is the first of three recommended key practices to support language theory and literacy development.” Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children, the 1998 report of the Committee on the Prevention of Reading Difficulties in Young Children.
Thanks and blessings,
Patricia L. Moser, Director
Trinity Child Development Center
123 E. Livingston Center
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 488-1919 ext. 120
(407) 925-8694 (cell)