Family Literacy: Everyday Learning with your Baby
Bookmates Blog (2)

Blog provided by Bookmates Inc.

Learning Starts at Birth

The skills needed to read and write begin at birth! Even though your baby can’t yet talk or read, their brains are developing the building blocks for communication, speech, reading, and writing. Brains are complex, but supporting healthy brain development and early literacy is easy and fun!  You can do all of the following things to help your baby’s brain grow:

TALK to your baby as much as possible.  It doesn’t matter what you are saying, they love to hear the sound of your voice and their brains are starting to learn the different sounds of the languages they are hearing around them. They are also practicing sounds they can make themselves.  Whether your child is quiet, babbling or speaking words, the more you speak and respond to their sounds, the more they will learn.

SING to your baby. Holding your baby close while singing makes a child feel safe and loved.  Singing can also slow down language so children hear the different sounds that makeup words. This helps when they begin to read printed language.

READ together. Snuggling up with a book is the single most important way to help children get ready to read.

PLAY with your baby.  Play peek-a-boo, tickle them, and engage all of their senses.  All children learn best through fun, interactive playful experiences with people they love.

What is Family Literacy?

As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher. They learn about and explore the world through you! Baby’s brains are like sponges, they take in everything around them. Babies need lots of interactions, experiences, and opportunities to listen to language and other sounds, observe your face and body language, move their bodies, and enjoy books.

Family literacy is all about everyday moments that involve talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing together. Think about building these activities into your family’s daily routines and using everyday opportunities to expand your baby’s learning. Doing this with your child is a perfect way to have fun and bond, support healthy brain development, prepare your child for school, and model the value of and fun in life-long learning. Enjoy this short video for everyday family literacy ideas!

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Bookmates Inc., a family literacy organization based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Our mission is to build and support the foundations of literacy and learning through the development and delivery of early years programs and training. Visit for more information.