Beginning at birth, talk with your baby about what you are doing. "OK, I’m going to put these warm fuzzy socks on your feet because it feels chilly in here." It may seem silly at first, but telling children what you are doing helps them put words with objects and activities.
If you can, try working music into everyday activities — picking up toys, setting the table or taking a bath. Make up songs that include children's names. “This is the way Sam puts on his coat, puts on his coat, puts on his coat...” Every time you read, talk, sing or rhyme with a child you are providing the early language experiences that lead to reading.
Reading with your busy toddler while she orbits the room is fine—she is still listening! Encourage your toddler by having fun with the sounds in silly words, like “fuzzy-wuzzy.” Toddlers learn new words easily every day, so choose books that follow her interests and have uncommon words. And since repetition helps build brain connections, it’s good to read her favorites again and again.
Ask your child, “How does this music make you want to move?” When children move to music, they begin to feel the beat. Sing your favorite songs or make up silly songs for fun. When families share stories, songs and books with their children, they give them the message that learning to read and write is important.