Date : February 15, 2019
Literacy skills are incredibly important for all children – and they need to be continually developing them throughout their young lives. As adults, their literacy skills will enable them to pursue rewarding and challenging professional and personal lives, while helping them to engage fully with the world around them. Thankfully, there are a variety of fun activities you can do to encourage the development of your child’s literacy skills at home – and with May Gibbs’ beloved books, too! Read on to find out more.
How you can help at home
This is probably the easiest of all literacy activities – involving your child in choosing the books you will read together. Allowing them to choose books they’re interested in makes them much more excited about reading them. They’ll also be more likely to engage with the story and want to talk to you about what they’re reading.
What you can do:
- Visit your local public library and browse the shelves with your child. Choose favourite titles together. Ask your child to read the title and the name of the author out loud or have them tell you what they think the book might be about.
- Re-visit favourite authors – authors like Mem Fox, Pamela Allen, Aaron Blabey and May Gibbs all write books for readers of differing ages and abilities, and the familiarity of the writing style and characters will help your child develop their literacy skills further.
- Check out Goodreads and look for book review blogs to help you and your child make informed choices about what to read. Ask your local librarian or your child’s teacher for recommendations.
Keep in mind that a child’s reading level and listening level will be different. You’ll be able to read more advanced books to them, while the books they choose to read out loud to you will be easier. Ensure you choose a mix of reading levels (and even types of books, including print and audio books) and encourage your child to challenge themselves. Each time they succeed, you help instil a love of reading and build motivation that will transform your child into a lifelong reader.
World of Words
Develop familiarity with the written word by enveloping your home with words.
What you can do:
- Make an alphabet poster with your child. Encourage them to write the letters out themselves and cut out images from magazines or print pictures from the internet to correspond with those letters. Ask your child to help choose a prominent place to hang the poster.
- Ask your child to help label the things they draw. For example, if they draw a picture of a house, encourage them to write ‘this is a house’ on the picture. Hang the labelled pictures in their bedroom or on the fridge.
- Ask your child to help you write shopping lists. Initially, you can encourage them to watch you spell out and form the letters for the various items, but eventually, as their literacy skills develop, they can help write the lists themselves. Once their skills develop, you can encourage them to write short letters to their friends or relatives.
- Create a scrapbook of interesting words, people, animals, and places – whatever may interest your child. Help them to label the images, and encourage them to write something about the pieces they’ve decided to cut out.
The more exposure your child has to words and letters, the more your child will begin to recognise their shape and how they’re spelled. They’ll also gain an understanding of grammar and sentence structure, which will help with developing their writing skills. Through this kind of activity, children begin to see that words have a purpose.
May Gibbs’ books are a wonderful way of encouraging the development of your child’s literacy skills. For more great ideas, click here!