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10 Language and Literacy Activities You Can Do With Your Child at Home

10 Language and Literacy Activities You Can Do With Your Child at Home

10 Language and Literacy Activities You Can Do With Your Child at Home – By Susie Beghin

Earlier this month, we posted the first in a series of articles highlighting the 4 Pillars of Learning approach we use at Alpha’s Discovery Kids.  This two-part article addressed our approach to developing Language and Literacy skills in the children under our care.  While the children spend a lot of their time in our centre, it’s important that their language and literacy is nurtured at home as well.  In order to help our parents, we have created a list of things they can do at home with their young kids to complement our practices.  A lot of these activities do not require scheduled time since they can be done as part of everyday life and should be encouraged amongst all caregivers.

Literacy Activities

  • Read aloud with your child: There is a reason experts always recommend reading with your children. It is the most important thing you can do to develop their literacy skills.  It helps their brains develop, it improves concentration, and helps create a sense of curiosity about the world around them.
  • Use alphabet magnets/stickers/cards to learn letter sounds: It doesn’t matter what order they learn their letters, so start with the ones that are used most often—S A T . Gradually add in other letters, like the letters in their name.  Add more as they gain proficiency.
  • Play Alphabet Concentration: Write the uppercase and lowercase alphabets on index cards to create a deck of 52 cards. Play concentration, matching the uppercase letter to the lowercase letter.  Have the children make the letter sounds as you play.
  • Drawing: Learning how to hold a crayon/pencil/marker properly and how to make whatever shapes they want helps children when they start learning how to draw the specific letters of the alphabet.  If they draw with confidence, they will write with confidence.
  • Go on an Alphabet Walk: Before you go for a walk, choose a letter sound.  See how many things you can find that start with that sound while you walk. This will also increase your child’s awareness of their environment and increase their vocabulary.

Language Activities:

  • Talk to your child: As with reading to your children to develop literacy skills, talking to your children is one of the most important things you can do to help them develop their language skills.  Children whose parents talk to them have larger vocabularies and will use more advanced sentence structures.  Use new words (for example, good, yummy, tasty, delicious, etc., to describe food) and ask them if they understand and can explain what the new words mean.  Describe your activities as you perform them so they can start making connections to abstract words and ideas.
  • Play “I Spy”: It teaches children how to use language to describe the things in their environment. Depending on how you play, it will develop their knowledge of colours and letter sounds, so mix it up and play both ways.
  • Create stories using images: Using picture cards, photographs, images cut from magazines, etc., allow your children to create their own narratives. They will use their words to describe what is happening in the story.  This helps develop language, teaches them how to project and predict what will happen next, and develops their creative thinking.
  • Sing songs: In the car, while out and about is a perfect place to sing songs with your children. Not only is it fun, but it helps pass the time while driving in the car! Children love songs with actions so try to do the actions as you go. 
  • Play rhyming games: Choose simple words from objects in your environment and see how many rhyming words you and your child can come up with. 

As you can see, these are all simple activities that don’t take up a lot of time.  Some of them can effortlessly be incorporated into your everyday life. Older siblings and extended family members can easily participate.  A person’s brain is at peak ability to learn language between the ages of 1-6 years, so the efforts invested in developing your child’s language and literacy skills now will pay off in their ability to communicate in the future. And that’s 10 Language and Literacy Activities You Can Do With Your Child at Home.

Thanks for reading 10 Language and Literacy Activities You Can Do With Your Child at Home, by Susie Beghin