Like so many parents, when my kids were babies and put every single thing in their mouths, we’d remark, “Tasty?” We understood the mouth was a conduit to discovery.
What we didn’t know was this: “Looking at early literacy development as a dynamic developmental process, we can see the connection (and meaning) between an infant mouthing a book, the book handling behavior of a two-year-old, and the page turning of a five-year-old.” This comes from the website Zero to Three. Continuing: “We can see that the first three years of exploring and playing with books, singing nursery rhymes, listening to stories, recognizing words, and scribbling are truly the building blocks for language and literacy development.”
The page has ideas about ways you can share books with infants and toddlers. For my part, one thing I’m careful to do is give books the way other people might give clothes or toys—I make books my go-to gift for new babies and other small people. I figure I cannot go wrong with a book.
Note, the early literacy here isn’t about flashcards or letter formation or anything that is so formal as learning to read. Literacy has all to do with comfort with and enjoyment from books. That, in my opinion, is absolutely yummy.
Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser is a writer, whose work appears in the ebook anthology Welcome to My World, Brain Child Magazine & the Huffington Post, Babble & Bamboo Magazine amongst others. She does some blogging for Teen Life and keeps her own blog—Standing in the Shadows—at the Valley Advocate. She and her dear husband are raising four children and enduring a great deal of chaos in the relatively sleepless process.