Early reading and phonics
Early phonics is all about tuning in to sounds. This is a vital part of children's development so that later they can hear individual sounds in words. You can encourage your child to;
- Sing Nursery rhymes and identify which are the words that rhyme.
- Practise the same rhymes regularly so that they really know the words.
- Clap syllables in their name and other words e.g. Charlotte would be two claps 'Char - lotte', Joshua would be three 'Josh - u - a'
- Make up their own rhyming words and create rhyming strings e.g. say "cat, hat, bat, sat, mat, bat" etc.
- You can also practise oral segmenting and blending which involves saying the separate sounds in words (not letter names) and your child has to guess what word you are saying e.g. "c - a - t".
- Recognise their name
The best way to encourage a love of reading is also to read to your child daily and re-read those favourite books as it develops a real love of stories and familiarity of books. Also make sure you try to read traditional tales such as Goldilocks and Little Red Riding Hood. You are welcome to borrow these from Nursery.
Early writing and mark making
One of the most important things you can do with your child to encourage early writing is help them to develop strength in their upper body and hands. You can encourage this through;
- Climbing and swinging on climbing frames, monkeys bars and ropes.
- Playing with small toys such as lego, threading beads and playdough.
- If your child is interested you can show them how to write their name using a capital letter at the beginning and then lower case letters.
- Finger painting and painting with a brush.
Anything which encourages the use of their hands is great including dressing themselves!