First Steps Toward Reading
- Introduce your toddler to her written first name. As toddlers realize they are individuals, their names take on special meaning. Many toddlers develop an awareness of the letters in their name, especially the very special first letter. Call attention to the letters in your toddler’s name and take the opportunity to point out those letters as they appear on signs, books, or labels. At the grocery store look for items that start with your child’s name, “Look, it says pasta; pasta starts with ‘P,’ like your name Paul.”
- Ask your child what they are drawing or the intended meaning of your toddler’s marks on paper. Younger toddlers may tell you a line is a tiger, while an older toddler may tell you, “This says Mom and Dad” as they point to squiggles on the page. Whatever your child draws, display your toddler’s work to instill a sense of pride.
- Write together. Write a letter, thank you card, shopping list, fill out an order form, or create a to do list; ask your child to join you. Give him some writing paper of his own to scribble on, so he can create his own list or thank you card. Your child will learn that writing is an essential part of everyday life.