LDA FACT SHEET
Many simple everyday occurrences provide excellent opportunities
to enhance your child's development. Never underestimate the value
of even 15 minutes of quality time spent with your child. Remember,
you are your child's first teacher!
From the time of birth, talking to your child has a big impact.
With the first babbles, language exchange is important to your child's
language development. Talk about your surroundings: things familiar
to your child's world. Name what you see in the house; as you ride
in the car; and as you shop in stores.
If your child speaks in one word utterances, expand the word into
a sentence, so that the child hears a sentence:
Parent: "The fluffy brown dog is barking."
Always encourage the child's use of language. Some tips:
- Place a favorite toy out of reach.
- Give the child one cookie; give the child's friend two cookies.
- Say rhymes and let the child fill in the rhyming word.
- Encourage counting - "one nose," "two hands"
- to develop a sense of oneness, twoness, threeness.
As you talk, give individual attention for five or ten minutes.
The amount of time should match the child's attention span. Be a
good listener. Follow your child's lead for conversation and enjoyable
READ, READ, READ
With picture books, talk about the pictures. If a book has too
many words, tell the story more simply, in your own words. You may
need to begin by talking about the pictures.
- Read as long as the child's attention lasts.
- Talk about the front of the book, the top of the page. Point
to the words.
- Play games with sounds. This is very important to your child's
This activity lets the child know that words are made up of sounds;
that conversation is made up of words.
- Clap names of family and friends - "Joe" (one clap),
"Mother" (two claps)
- Stretch out the sounds of the word - "fff aaa nnn"
- then say it fast, "fan."
- Play rhyming games.
- Play I spy: something that begins like "pan" (pillow);
something that begins like "mug" (mat, man).
These games can be played with a child before the child has any
knowledge of the alphabet.
Story reading or story telling is important, as this activity helps
the child know the typical pattern of events that one expects to
hear in a story.
When your child shows interest in the alphabet, follow your child's
lead. Print names, and then print familiar words that begin with
the same letter. Help your child know which letters are the same
and which are different. If your child has an interest in learning
letters of the alphabet, introduce letters that are not similar
in their looks or sounds.
Be creative in helping your child develop remembering devices.
Use things that are funny and familiar. Encourage your child to
draw and tell you the story of the picture, which you can write
down. Children's writing emerges from squiggles, to strings of lines,
to favorite letters, to a beginning letter followed by other letters
Young children's art work may consist of lines and colors. Comment
on the strong lines, e.g., "What a great blue color!"
Reflect on what you see; ask the child to tell you about the picture.
If a child isn't interested in drawing, provide plastic animals,
people, and vehicles the child can manipulate and use to create
15 MINUTES EVERY DAY
The important component is consistent, daily quality interaction.
The development of literacy requires 15 minutes of quality interaction
each day. Your child needs to see that reading is important to you,
that reading is an enjoyable experience, and that it is worth the
hard work that it may require.