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Nov 22

Gifts to Promote Early Literacy

Posted on November 22, 2017 at 9:48 AM by Allie Barton

Christmas is right around the corner and while there are so many great gift ideas for little ones, here are a few that can support early literacy for children (and that won't break the bank!).

1. Books--Did you really think that books wouldn't be on this list? Board books are a great gift for your little ones. It's important to read with your baby, no matter the age! You might think they are too young to understand, but babies that hear more words in their infancy have a better vocabulary as a toddler and preschooler. Plus, it's just a great time to cuddle with your small one! Reading to babies can be tricky sometimes. They might be too wiggly or even try to eat the book, but that's okay! Remember to never force your child to read with you. If they are too wiggly or not in the mood, try again later! You want your child to have a positive feeling about reading and books. Try reading when they have full tummy or right before nap time or bed time. 

2.  Bubbles- Bubbles are a cheap form of educational entertainment. Head to your dollar store and stock up on some bubbles! Bubbles can help exercise facial muscles for speech and even help with eye tracking for babies. Babies learn to see over a period of time, much like they learn to walk and talk. The ability to focus their eyes, move them accurately, and use them together as a team must be learned and bubbles can be a great way to help them.

3. Puzzles- Beginner puzzles can help babies develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Look for puzzles with large pieces with a knob for easy gripping for your baby. Puzzles also give you a great opportunity for expanding your baby's vocabulary as you name and place the puzzle pieces. For example, farm or vehicle puzzles give you a chance to name the farm animals and sounds or types of vehicles with your baby. Melissa & Doug have a great selection for purchase and example.

4. Pretend Props- Imaginative play is one of the best ways for your child to expand their background knowledge and vocabulary. Play food, pretend tools, costumes, and puppets are great way to spark children's imaginative play.

5. Toy Musical Instruments- Shakers, bells, and other toy instruments are great tools for early literacy development. Making music and singing with your baby can help increase their phonological awareness.

These are just a few ideas when shopping for your little one this year. Tell us some more of your favorite toys that encourage early literacy!