Yes, my tot scribbles and I think it is wonderful!!! Yesterday, Kim wrote about exposing your babies to pre-writing activities by giving them opportunities to write. I am reading the book Raising Confident Readers: How to Teach Your Child to Read and Write–from Baby to Age 7 by Dr. J. Richard Gentry and both of our little ones would be considered in stage 0 of learning to read and write. Dr. Gentry emphasis the importance of this stage, “what you do in Phase 0 hugely impacts to timing of all the other phases of literacy.” First scribbles are setting the foundation for literacy development. Phew… what we are doing with our babies and toddlers is SO important.
E – Early start
Dr. Gentry emphasises an early start, talking to your babies, reading out loud, immersing your children in oral language. (He even encourages the use of a second language at this age too!) At our household, we use every day activities like making chocolate play dough and rolling lace onto it to “immerse” our children in language. We talk about the patterns and textures of the things we are working with, how things feel, look, taste. We talk together about the world and the things in it. I began reading to my baby the first day he came home from the hospital! Books have been a part of our life for his entire first 2 years.
A – Activities
Activities interacting with board books and doing simple activities such as rhyming activities will help create a literacy rich environment. He writes “You will know you have been successful when by two years of age your baby is perfectly content to entertain herself happily flipping through a pile of books for 20 minutes while singing and chatting to herself.” YEAH! This doesn’t happen all day, but my tot is content to “read” to himself at least one 20 minute section of our day!!!
This part emphasis that talking about the book and the illustrations is helpful for children this age. If we read a book about buttons, like “Corduroy’s Buttons,” then I stimulate my tots fine motor skills by hiding buttons in our play dough (we have been on a home-made play dough kick this week!) and finding them. We also have been showing him that some pants and shirts have buttons and he is now identifying them on his own.
Mine decided to drop all the buttons on the floor after he found them (guess he wanted to stimulate his sense of sound and develop a greater understanding of gravity) So, I brought out a muffin tin and we sat together of the floor picking up the buttons and sorting them by color. I think this is what Dr. Gentry is talking about, connecting literature and real life through activities.
“You start early, you provide literacy-rich activities, and you provide the hands-on-stimulation.”