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Reading Readiness Strategies For Toddlers

Updated on August 26, 2015

Indirect Teaching

Indirect teaching can be fun! Many times we think of teaching as a difficult task especially teaching toddlers. However, when you don't think of it as teaching it takes the stress from the adult and the child. Everyday activities can be a teachable moment. For instance, when dressing a child you command him to put his "left/right" arm in his shirt and you do the same for his pants. This activity teaches him his left from his right, this is important for reading, in America we read from left to right. When feeding him breakfast you ask questions such as "do we use a spoon or fork to eat our cereal?" When going grocery shopping you can simply play a game, such as, finding all the red fruits and vegetables and categorizing the items. Indirect teaching is fun for both the child and the adult. Asking question forms such as "who", "what", "where", and "how" throughout the day is a great way to improve your child's problem solving skills and inference skills.

Nursery Rhymes

Language Enrichment

Nursery rhymes are indirect teachings of language. Nursery rhymes help children learn semantics and syntax. Here are a few nursery rhymes that are fun to share with your child: "Wheels On The Bus", "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star", "Old McDonald", and "Mary Had a Little Lamb".

A fun way to introduce reading to your child is to read nursery rhyme books and "act out" the story. Repetitive story lines are a great way to get your child to acknowledge reading from left to right.

Treat your infant or toddler as a little person by talking to him. Recent studies have shown talking to your baby is the best teaching skill for early communication developmental milestones. The most effective way of verbalizing to your young child is by singing.

Developmental Stages for Sound Production

Speech Sound Acquisition

Before Age 2: Vowel sounds

After Age 2, 0 months: /m/, /n/, /h/, /w/, /p/, /b/

After Age 3, 0 months: /f/, /k/, /g/, /t/, /d/

After Age 4, 0 months: /n/, /j/

After Age 5, 0 months: Voiced th, sh, ch, /l/, /v/, j

After Age 6, 0 months: /s/, /r/, /z/, /s/ blends, vowelized /r/, voiced th, /l/ blends

If your child have difficulty with correct production of age appropriate sounds listed above; please contact a speech-language pathologist for a speech and language screening and/or an evaluation: therapy is contingent upon results of evaluation.

If your child exhibits difficulty with correct production of age appropriate sounds, this may have a negative impact on his emergent literacy ability.

Please contact: for a speech-language evaluation.

Websites That Promote Emergent Literacy Skills

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