Parenting Connection: Literacy skill-building should begin at birth

Parenting Connection

It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: Literacy skill-building should begin at birth.

March is designated as National Reading Month — a perfect time according to child development experts to remind parents how valuable reading is to kids as they develop. In fact, child experts say, if you read 30 minutes every day with your child from birth your kid will consume more than 900 hours of literacy time before they start kindergarten. This is a huge head start for young kids because they’ll start recognizing sounds and learn construction of words and sentences well before they start school, which can also help them socially as well. Experts then say, parents must continue to establish reading opportunities outside of the normal bed story routine as they grow older.

“What we encourage is to stash books everywhere,” says child development expert with MSU Kendra Moyses. “Like, if you’re at the doctor’s office waiting, you can pull out a book and read. Also, don’t think of just traditional books. We have kids that have lots of interests, so things like comic books or novels, all different types of genres are really important to expose kids to.”

Here are a few suggestions from child experts from Michigan State University’s extension to make reading more fun for children:
*Follow their lead. If they love dinosaurs, then get a dinosaur book.
*Take reading on the road. Keep books on hand for things like road trips or restaurants.
*Read aloud and with personality.
*Create a reading nook to provide them a great place to enjoy it.

Child development experts also say, don’t just think of literacy as books. Signs, directions, or anything with words will count towards literacy building opportunities.

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