Even the earliest experiences of books shared with children begins to build literacy skills. Children begin with learning about language, sounds, awareness of words and print, books and stories. Rocking, singing, and music begin to builds the idea of rhythm. Young children quickly learn which way a book is held and how to scan from left to right. Literacy is most commonly understood as reading and writing, but you are helping your baby build literacy skills from the first time you share a book with them. Families have a vital role to play in helping their child with early literacy development.
There are many stages to literacy development from early emergent literacy skills to fully fluent reading and writing for a variety of different audiences. The important thing to remember is that learning to read and write doesn’t start in kindergarten or first grade. Developing literacy skills begins at birth through everyday loving interactions, such as sharing books, telling stories, and communicating with one another.