Encouraging early literacy and language skills in your preschooler has been shown to equip them with the skills they need to be lifelong learners. The benefits of literacy and language on their personal development are also multifold, by improving their communication, observation, and empathy skills.
By strengthening even basic literacy skills, you are empowering your child with tools that will come in handy once they enter kindergarten or primary school – setting them up for future success in both the academic and non-academic spheres.
Powering up your child’s literacy and language toolkit can start at home, and provides plenty of opportunities for bonding between you and your little one too! Here are 3 language and literacy activities you can do at home with your preschooler.
1. Read, read, and read!
The easiest activity for encouraging early literacy is simply to pick up any book and read. Reading and storytelling impact your child’s development in various ways including stimulating their imagination and creativity, nurturing their focus and communication skills, and enhancing their emotional literacy and empathy for others.
Reading can start at any age, and the earlier the better! It doesn’t have to be just storybooks – manuals, picture books, food labels, and even street signs are all great opportunities for your child to practice their language and pronunciation skills while being exposed to the variety of texts in the world.
If your preschooler gravitates to a specific book and wants to read it over and over again, that can be a good sign that they’re starting to fall in love with reading. Reading the same book over and over has been shown to strengthen alphabet recognition, phonics, and comprehension skills too.
2. Include phonics into your everyday routine
Phonics are one of the best ways to give your child a headstart in language and literacy by teaching them how to ‘sound out’ words. With good phonological awareness, your preschooler can feel confident even when they encounter new or unfamiliar words.
To keep your child interested in phonics, incorporate it into your daily activities. Sound out the letters when you walk past a street sign, have ‘scavenger hunts’ in magazines or newspapers for words with a particular letter sound, or mix magnetic letters into a sensory bin and have your child pull them out to match a word you’ve written down.
3. Practice writing as much as possible
The first time your child picks up a pen or pencil to write, you’ll probably see a mass of scribbles that only they can seem to understand. But this is a promising start!
Writing is a major literacy and language milestone in preschoolers, and can also help build your child’s fine motor skills and muscle strength, so that they will be ready for kindergarten and primary school.
Incorporate other language strengthening activities by encouraging your preschooler to explain what they are trying to write or draw. Even though adults may only see an indecipherable mess, those scribbles are still a sign that your child is trying to use higher-order thinking skills to communicate with you. As your child’s literacy skills improve, introducing simple creative writing exercises can help them focus on syntax construction or storybuilding.
Encourage your child’s full potential with MindChamps
Here at MindChamps Singapore, we recognise how crucial it is to foster strong reading and writing skills from a young age. That’s why our PreSchool curriculum includes the MindChamps Reading & Writing™ (Natural Literacy™) and Fun with Language™ modules, which have been developed by early literacy experts.
Paired with our S.M.I.L.E.S.™ methodology, our preschoolers are exposed to a range of holistic and interactive activities to naturally boost their interest in reading and strengthen foundational literacy skills. Interested to find out more about our programmes? Book a centre visit to see how MindChamps can help your child reach their full potential!