Don’t you love when something simple can make a big difference? Flossing, saying “thank you” and staying hydrated are some personal favorites. In the world of early literacy skills, simply singing books can gain the attention of young toddlers and other children while promoting phonological awareness. Phonological awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate the smaller words in sounds. In addition to singing books, you can play rhyming games, break words apart and clap out syllables in familiar vocabulary words.
The power of singing books truly struck me when I was faced with two classrooms of young toddlers. We were all new to each other – it was a new year for them, and it was a new outreach site for me. Wandering eyes and body movement are to be expected with an audience of young toddlers, but when I pulled out James Dean’s Pete the Cat: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, my new friends were suddenly gazing in something beyond wonder. They were zoning in on the book, and occasionally observing “cat” in the illustrations as I turned the pages.
It is easy to turn rhyming books into singing books. Try any of these stories with your baby or toddler, and stop by storytime for more ideas about encouraging early literacy skills with your child!
Angela is a Children’s & Teen Librarian at CLP – Squirrel Hill. She is an extremely slow reader and bicyclist, but really loves both.