LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

These ideas offer ways to build your child’s literacy skills, preparing her for success in school and beyond.

Reading

Babies:
  • Provide your child picture books with simple objects or faces.
  • Give him board or cloth books with pages that turn easily and won’t tear.
  • Offer him books with soft, rough, or bumpy textures to touch and feel.
Toddlers and Preschoolers:
  • Have your child point to numbers, colors, letters, and familiar objects.
  • Choose books and topics of interest like animals or trains — and big events like toilet training or the birth of a new sibling.

Talking and Listening

Babies:

  • Talk to your child about what you see and what you are doing.
  • Listen as she communicates with coos, smiles, laughs, and cries.
    Toddlers and Preschoolers:
  • Have conversations where each of you has a chance to talk and to listen.
  • Play hide-and-seek, talking about what you are seeing as you look. Your child will listen closely as she waits to be found.

Singing

Babies:
  • Play music and watch as your child bounces and babbles to the beat.
  • Sing favorite songs over and over again.
Toddlers and Preschoolers:
  • Teach your child songs that have hand movements.
  • Teach him simple sing-along songs like “Ring Around the Rosie.”

Writing

Babies:
  • Encourage your child to hold soft toys or rattles, which help develop grasping skills.
  • Play with puzzles that have oversized numbers and letters.
Toddlers and Preschoolers:
  • Let your child play with and trace magnetic letters and numbers.
  • Allow her to draw freely and creatively.

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