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  • Writer's pictureDr. V.S. Gayathri

Effective Resources For Developing Early Literacy Skills!

Kids start picking up things right from an early age. The more we interact with them from an early age, the more developed are their early literacy skills. In today’s article, we will focus on some good resources for developing early literacy skills in terms of speaking, reading, and writing.

Reading Resources

Reading with your child helps to develop their vocabulary, ability to listen and understand, and ability to connect sounds and words. It also helps them to learn about the world around them. Reading together every day strengthens your relationship and helps prepare your child to read and write.

  • Try books with rhyme, rhythm, and repetition like Ten little fingers and ten little toes by Mem Fox, Hairy Maclary by Linley Dodd, and The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson.

  • For babies and toddlers, try lift-the-flap books or touch-and-feel books.

  • Link books with real life. For example, if you’ve read a book about playing in a park, you might like to take your child to the local park and point out swings that look like the ones in the book.

  • Encourage your child to act out characters or animals from a book.

  • The Roots of Reading: Hosted by Fred Rogers, this show examines how parents, childcare providers, and kindergarten teachers can get children started on the road to literacy. This program is part of our PBS Launching Young Readers series about how children learn to read, their struggles, and how we can help.

  • Choose fun, engaging stories that are right for your family at your local library. After selecting a book, invite your child to read with you:

  • Before turning the page, ask your child to predict what will happen next.

  • Make the story come alive by acting out movements or noises as they happen in the story.

  • Look at the faces of people and characters in books or magazines and ask your child, "How is _____ feeling?" Describing how others feel helps children express their own emotions and builds vocabulary skills.

Speaking Resources

Talking and singing with young children helps them to develop listening and speaking skills. Every word your child hears builds their vocabulary and helps them to share their ideas through talking. This also builds the foundation for later writing skills.

  • Use rhyme whenever you can. Use phrases like ‘snug as a bug in a rug’ or make-up rhymes about things you’re doing – for example, ‘putting fish in the cat’s dish’.

  • Sing nursery rhymes with your child like ‘Baa baa black sheep’, ‘Miss Polly had a dolly’, or the ‘Alphabet song’.

  • Repeat sounds your child makes, or make up sounds and see whether your child can copy them. For example, ‘Cows say moo. Can you say moo?’

  • Talk about objects outside the house – for example, the rustling of leaves, or the sounds of the birds or traffic. Ask your child to make the sounds for wind, rain, water, airplanes, trains, and cars.

  • Play games like ‘I spy’ works really well for pre-schoolers. Add variety by adding numbers, colours, etc.

  • Try asking, "How..." or "Why..." questions to keep the conversation going. For example, you might say, "Why do you think that happened?" or "How do you know that blue and red make purple?"

  • Help your child talk about feelings. For example, you might say, "You look frustrated, how do you feel?"

  • Activities to Encourage Speech and Language Development: These are age-appropriate ways that parents can engage their young children to help develop speech and language abilities.

Drawing and Writing Resources

Scribbling and drawing help young children develop fine motor skills for writing with pencils and pens later in childhood. It also helps children to understand that writing and pictures have meanings and you use them to communicate information.

  • Encourage your child to add a scribble or drawing on birthday cards or letters. Makeup stories with your child. Draw pictures of events in the story or act them out. Anytime your child makes a mark on a page---scribbles, pictures, letters---they are writing.

  • Encourage your child to try some letters or write their name on all their artwork. Encourage your child to tell you about their drawings.

  • Use play dough to help them make the letters of the alphabet or numbers.

  • Give your child opportunities to use letters of the alphabet in different forms – on blocks, magnetic letters that stick on the fridge, and puzzle pieces.

  • Cut out or draw pictures of basic household items – chair, table, TV, wall, door, and so on – then write the items’ names on separate pieces of paper. Ask your child to match the name of the item to the picture.

Playtime Resources

When children play, they explore their ideas and interests, gain knowledge about the world and build self-esteem. Make time for play, and try to play along with them.

  • Pretend play or Role Playing is an important resource. Children play pretend to make sense of recent experiences. Research has shown that dramatic play helps children develop empathy, understand math and reading, and find creative solutions to problems.

  • Let your child be the star of the show and give yourself a supporting role. As you play together do what your child does and talk about what they are doing.

  • Add some elements of play when you are outside as well like at the park or the supermarket.

Digital Resources

  • Early Literacy Resources is a DOE webpage that provides fun and easy ways to help your child build a lifelong love of learning.

  • Vroom is a website and app that helps turn everyday moments into fun brain-building experiences. Vroom can help turn mealtime, bath time, and commuting into learning opportunities.

  • PBS Parents gives you tips and resources for bringing learning to life at home. It has many ideas for crafts, science experiments, recipes, and more.

  • Name Play: a name reading and writing practice kit

  • Montessorium: Intro to Words

  • Khan Academy Kids

  • You can also check out this link-

The idea is to be creative, innovative, interactive, and enthusiastic about spending time with your child during their early years. This way you can aid in developing their early literacy skills because every child learns in their own way, and you are the best one to know it.


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