Sing, Talk, Read, Write, Play: Help Your Child Gain the Early Literacy Skills Needed Before Starting Kindergarten
A common question that comes to mind for many parents is “Will my child be ready for kindergarten?” The Scribble, Explore—Let’s Go! program at the St. Louis Public Library can help parents accomplish that goal. The target age group is newborn to 8 years old. Families are encouraged to participate in the five sessions which are held every second Tuesday of the month from 5-6 p.m. To view the calendar click here. The program incorporates the five early literacy practices: sing, talk, read, write, play.
At the groups, families do lots of singing and nursery rhyme songs with their child. Parents learn that singing helps a child to hear the small sounds in words and it also helps their memory. Although it may look messy and unorganized, parents are encouraged to let their child scribble their names on their geometric-shaped name tags - a very important pre-writing skill.
Some of the activities include picture-walking through a book with their child and sharing background experiences together while going through a book. Each family is given their very own word-bank box that is provided by the library to collect new words which are introduced during the sessions. Also, boxes are taken home to continue filling with new words found in daily routines like going to the grocery store or from family outings. During the family craft sessions, kids learn new words and drop more words into their word-bank box. A recent article from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) says, "Children’s vocabulary skills are linked to their economic backgrounds. By 3 years of age, there is a 30 million word gap between children from the wealthiest and poorest families." You can read the whole article here.
Parents receive a free book, informational packet that includes how to sign up for the online ReadyRosie.com, which gives parents a two- minute tip on how to build their child’s vocabulary through daily routines. Parents get informed about other online educational tools that the St. Louis Public Library provides to help their child’s language development such as the free ABCMouse.com at the library and Beanstack. For a fun outing, parents are told about Playdate Theater performances at Central Library, Tech for Tots programs at several library locations, and Storytimes at the library.
- "Give children ample time to learn the meaning and uses of new words before moving onto other words."
- "Sing with children and recite poetry and rhymes to playfully introduce vocabulary."
- "Use gestures and facial expressions to help children make sense of new words. For example, when introducing the word joyful, you might smile and wave your arms about to convey what it means."
- "Use new and interesting words in natural conversations. Try this at mealtimes or when presenting a new toy or material. Introducing a new word in context helps children learn what it means. For example, it’s easier for children to learn what a ukulele is when they can see and hear it as well as listening to you say the word."