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- Writing (including scribbling) is one way to develop print awareness. Encourage your child to “read” to you what he or she has written. Give them some paper and crayons, markers, pencils, chalk, or they can write in shaving cream and or instant pudding. Scribbling and drawing are the beginning steps to writing.
- Help them notice the written word by pointing out print all around you, reading street signs, and letting them see you read magazines, books, or mail. When reading, run your finger across or under the words.
- Read often but keep book sharing time a positive experience. If you child is not in the mood to read, close the book and try again later.
- When you read a book, run your finger under the text. Children may not notice the print unless you point it out.
- When you read together, label the names of the objects that you see in the book. Ask your child to repeat the names of unfamiliar pictures of objects after you have said them.
- While reading, have your child say a repeated phrase and/or make a motion with you throughout the book.
- Play with blocks! You can help your child start by stacking a few yourself, but just let your child go and see what they build.
- Encourage imaginative play. Playing house, pretending to buy groceries, or just playing in an empty box are great ways for children to build their imaginations, increase narrative and storytelling skills, as well as think through possible scenarios before they arise.
- Roll a ball back and forth with your toddler. This will help build hand-eye coordination and muscle strength.