The idea of babies talking and reading can seem incredible, but language and literacy skills start from birth! Babies communicate through sounds, facial expressions and gestures. These are all important ways to help them learn about language and the written word. Early language and literacy skills are learned best through everyday moments such as reading books, talking, laughing, singing and playing together.
As a classroom we ensure early literacy success by offering a variety of books that are simple, high contrast, multiple languages, accessible for chewing, an array of skin tones, cultures and a wide selection of topics. Teachers read to the children often throughout the day. After nap time has been a consistent time for the children to immerse themselves in independent reading time. Our older babies often hand books to the teachers to read and sit down to get cozy to enjoy a story. These moments are very important for language development as many valuable conversations happen between child and teacher. Babies may only sit for a few pages, turn the pages quickly or only want to look at one picture and then be done. No matter how long the engagement, the opportunities are vital in fostering children’s love of books.