Children learn about languages by listening to parents talk and joining the conversation. Books are wonderful conversation starters. When you talk with your child, use new words, take turns and make connections.
Songs are a natural way to learn about language. Songs help children develop listening skills and pay attention to the rhythms and rhymes of spoken language. They help children break down words so they hear individual sounds in a word. Singing also slows down language so children can hear different parts of words and notice how they are alike and different.
Reading together with your children is the single most important way to help them get ready to read. Shared reading develops vocabulary and comprehension. Reading helps children learn less common words, so talk about the meaning of words as you read.
Reading and writing go together. As children scribble and draw, they practice eye-hand coordination and exercise muscles in their fingers and hands. This helps develop the fine motor control they need to write letters and words. Other activities that develop fine motor skills also get cildren ready for writing.
Children learn about language through different kinds of play. Pretend and dramatic play develop language skills. As children play store or pretend to be an animal, they talk about what they're doing. They practice putting thoughts into words.