As we all know, Christmas is the a unique opportunity to spend a wonderful time and have fun with our families. Over Christmas, there are lots of opportunities to support your child’s literacy development.
We hope you like our ideas…
Sharing books is very important because it is a great way to bond with your child and has a good impact on their learning and development. Friendly reminder: you don’t need to read the story as your child may wish to look at the pictures with you 😊
- Sharing while showing the pictures of the book is very valuable because it keeps children more interested on the story. Point out what you can see, you could say “look there’s a dog wearing a hat”, encourage your child to do the same. You can try extending what you child says, if they point and say “car” you can say “oh yes a big red car with round wheels”
- Audiobooks are also a good idea if you aren’t a confident reader, and provide an alternative to the TV. Sit with your child and demonstrate how to listen to the story you could even enjoy a nice hot chocolate while you're snuggled up! There are lots of audiobooks about Christmas so have a look!
Reading books with your child not only will develop their vocabulary, ability to listen and be able to connect words and sounds, but also it will help your child to understand the world around them.
- Encourage your child to turn over the pages of the book that they chose to read and talk to them about what they can see on the pages;
- To make the reading more interesting, you and your toddler could act out the story that you’re reading, for example in a Christmas-themed book, you can ask your child to make sounds and actions of Santa Claus “ho,, ho, ho!”
- Try linking the story of the book with real life, for example if you are reading a book about Santa, you could say “can you remember when Santa came last year? What did he bring for you?”
- Hint - Children love books that contain rhyme, rhythm and repetition, so why not buy one of the followings books as a Christmas present for your child? For example “The Gruffalo” or “Stick Man” or “Sproutzilla vs Christmas”.
- Babies love sounds and pictures, so why not buy a Christmas Sound Board Book for them to experience different sounds and be interactive!
Drawing and Mark Marking Activities
Drawing and mark marking/writing can help your child to develop their fine motor skills. It also helps children to understand that the pictures they make and their writing are a way of communicating.
- Encourage your child to tell you about the pictures they made, for example “what are you making?”, “what colours did you use?” or “ what is your favourite thing about your picture?” and write down what your child said.
- To make it more fun and special, why not encouraging your child to draw on Christmas cards for your family and friends or to write a letter for Santa? Babies and toddlers might find chunk crayons easier to use or enjoy finger painting in Christmas cards.
- Encourage your child to write their own name on their artwork, and if you see that your child is struggling to write their own name, you could perhaps write your child’s name in dots and then ask your child to trace them.
- To enter in the Christmas spirit, you could make a Christmas play dough with your toddlers by adding in your recipe sparkling glitter, ginger or cinnamon, which will make the play dough more Christmassy. Follow a recipe, there are lots online, read the instructions to you child as you go. If you have a baby in your house, it would be nice if you make a sensory tray using flour, glitter and some pompoms for them to explore different textures and make marks in the flour.
We wish you all a very merry Christmas!