Literacy includes talking, listening, visual literacies such as viewing and drawing, and critical thinking — not just reading and writing. In addition, the literacies of technology (e.g. computer games and activities, internet searching, faxes, emails), popular culture (e.g. movies, theatre, and arts), functional literacy (e.g. road maps, timetables), ecological literacy (especially for Indigenous groups) and literacies other than English are relevant to the lives of young children today.
One of the most important ways in which educators can promote children’s literacy learning is by creating, with the children and their families, a learning environment in which literacy is purposefully used and discussed.
Our classrooms are full of print, images and other symbols used for a wide range of purposes that are both adult- and child-initiated, some things you many see include:
What can parents do at home to help children’s literacy development for babies and toddlers?
Talk: Talk with them about everyday experiences and what is happening around them, including explaining what is happening during routine activities such as feeding, bathing and nappy changing.
Sing: Sing songs and say poems and rhymes. Go back to basics… old school nursery rhymes are wonderful!
Read: Provide simple and sturdy books for children to explore on their own. Look at books with the children and talk about the pictures.
Awareness: Point out signs, pictures and logos. Older babies and toddlers often enjoy ‘spotting’ familiar images that relate to things they have seen in books or on television.
Role model: Show children that you enjoy reading with them, and make this a special time for cuddles and one-to-one time. Reading stories can become a part of settling routines such as arriving to school, before rest time or when waking up.
What can parents do at home to help children’s literacy development for preschool children?
Write: Write in front of children and explain what and why you are writing such as letters, lists, planning and other documentation
Read: Encourage children to “read” their own books, signs in the environment. Read books every day and discuss the illustrations and context of the story. Ask questions such as “what do you think will happen next?” Explore both quality factual and story books. Explain the difference between and author and an illustrator.
Talk: Encourage children to create their own stories, talk about memories and experiences, and create oral stories.
Sing: Sing songs, read poems and play with rhyme. Have music on in the background as you spend time on other activities in your home
Draw & Create: Provide rich and high quality drawing and writing materials to encourage children to develop their fine motor skills as well as representational skills. Talk to children about their ideas and work
Discuss: Promote enthusiastic discussions about the environment, relationships, interests, ideas, thinking and theories of the world. Ask open ended thought provoking questions that challenge thinking and language.
Value: Value literacy and demonstrate to children how to use this respectfully.
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The holiday season is the perfect time for little ones to engage in fun and exciting art activities that not only allow them to express their artistic side but also help to develop their creative thinking, problem-solving and fine motor skills.
Early childhood educators value music education as a major segment of children’s social, emotional, physical, intellectual and psychological life.
Early childhood music programs in our centres provide opportunities for children to experience a number of varying musical experiences. These opportunities should help foster an awareness and understanding of music and to help children to value and find meaning in their own lives and those of others.
Gardening allows children to learn responsibility, self-confidence, creativity, cooperation, reasoning and discovery. They gain an appreciation of their natural environment and an understanding of patterns and life cycles.
Gardening can create a platform for maths, science and art as well as establishing a respect for growing your own produce and valuing where your food comes from.
Gardening is a healthy, fun activity for children.
Children develop new skills and learn about science and nature from growing their own food.
There is a variety of interesting activities children can be involved in, such as planting, mulching, weeding and cooking.