Growing up “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” was my absolute favorite song. I’m pretty sure I drove my mother crazy singing it over and over again but all the time I was building vital literacy skills that I would later build upon when learning to read. We all remember our favorite nursery rhymes and songs from our childhood. What seemed like simple fun turns out to have great cognitive benefits! Singing is one of five key practices for strong early literacy skills. Early literacy is what your child knows about reading before he/she can actually read. There are four generally accepted early literacy skills that should be developed between the ages of zero and five years old:
Phonological Awareness: Ability to hear and identify letter sounds
Letter Knowledge: Ability to identify uppercase and lowercase letters
Narrative Skills: Ability to tell stories and participate in conversations (takes turns and responds to parent/guardian)
Vocabulary: Ability to use and understand new words in context
Singing with your child is a great way to develop at least three, and sometimes all four of these skills, and get your child prepared for school. Singing is a great way to engage your child and make learning fun. I recommend “Two Little Blackbirds” and “Neigh, Neigh Blue Hours”. You can sing in the car, while you’re cooking dinner, or during bath time. You can make any time into a literacy rich experience that will help your child get prepared for school.