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5 Ways to Build Your Child’s Literacy and Language Skills

| Early Childhood Literacy, Early Literacy, Help Your Child Get Ready to Read, Reading, Tips

parents with baby reading bookEven a short wait can be a challenge with little ones. Fortunately there are plenty of ways to pass the  time as well as promoting important brain-building literacy and language skills. Try these at the doctor’s office, at a restaurant, waiting in line at the grocery store. Try them at home too!

Fun activities to help fill the time and develop your child’s brain power:

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes!Little girl point to elbow
Knowing the names of things is important. Games and songs like Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes can help children learn the names of their body parts. Sing this song if you know it and if you don’t just say to your child, “I wonder if you can find your belly.” Wait. “Yes, that’s your belly!” “Can you find your toes?” Do all the usual body parts and then get more complicated with wrist, elbow, shin, ankle, etc. Can your child find the parts on your body? Encourage and gently correct as needed.

pony in thought bubbleI’m Thinking of a …..
Think of an animal. Have your child guess what animal it is by giving clues. “I’m thinking of an animal. It lives on a farm and has four legs.”

Rhyme Time
See if your child can rhyme with you. “See if you can think of a word that has an ending part like BAT. Something like CAT. What else can you think of”?

Plan a trip
Pretend you’re going on an adventure (maybe on a plane, camping, on a picnic, to the park). Talk about what you’d take along. Make a list together.

illustration of dad reading to childRead Something!
If you brought a book with you or find a book or magazine in this room, read it with your child. Talk about the pictures. Reading  aloud is one of the best ways to build your child’s brain and vocabulary! Wait time is just one time you can do this!

Learn More About Building Literacy and Language Skills

Explore the Promoting a Love of Books and Reading section of our website for more ideas on building your child’s literacy and language skills. Resources and information are also available from a variety of other organizations.