Children need early literacy skills before they begin to learn to read.  There are 5 simple practices (Talk, Sing, Read, Write and Play) you can do with your child to help build these skills. 

Early Literacy Spotlight: WRITE

Child coloringBefore children can learn how to write, they must build up their strength and muscles and develop fine motor skills.  

For babies, this means getting tummy time and grasping at objects.  For toddlers, finger strength is still evolving, fine motor skills are developing and children benefit from having a dedicated space to use markers, stickers, and paints. For preschoolers, early writing combines drawing, “made-up” spelling, copying and repeating patterns.  

Introduce letter writing to your child by having them send notes to loved ones.  Children can add pictures to your writing or they can “write” themselves.  Take your letter to the mailbox together and talk about how the address will help get it to where it belongs. 

Beginning Friday, February 4, Valentine Card kits will be available at both the Cedar Mill and Bethany Community Libraries to help you and your child practice letter writing skills and connect with a loved one. Appropriate for ages 2 and up, while supplies last.

Write! Early Literacy for Preschoolers booklist (WCCLS)

An Introduction to Letter Writing (Reading Rockets)

Learning to Write and Draw (Zero to Three)

The Center for Early Literacy Learning has writing specific guides with practical activities for each age group. For the babies, explore Infant Finger Drawing.  Toddlers can learn the Art of Writing. You can even create your own mail center with the help of Mail Call.