I was chatting with a group of friends last week and after a while the conversation turned to the concerns we feel for our children in Hong Kong and two items topped the list – air pollution and education.

Afterwards at home, while I looked out at a grey sky over the harbour, I thought to myself: Well, I can’t fix the pollution today but I can help mums understand the core skills their children should develop for kindergarten. And that these skills can be enhanced at home while mum is at work!

Toddlers are constantly learning at home

This is the 1st of 4 articles that will help you learn about 4 core learning skills fundamental to your child’s early childhood development.

These skills are: early literacy, math concepts, fine-motor and gross-motors skills

Literacy!? You ask with a quizzical expression. Why do toddlers need to learn literacy skills at such a young age!

Studies have shown that literacy development begins in the first 3 years of a child’s life. The building blocks for language, reading and writing development are the interactions a child has with adults in their lives and through literacy materials. Key findings include:

  1. Language, reading and writing skills develop at the same time and are closely linked
  2. Early literacy development is a continuous developmental process that begins in the first years of life
  3. Early literacy skills develop in real life settings at home through positive interactions with literacy materials and other people

What early literacy skills are essential for success in kindergarten?

When your child enters kindergarten she / he will be expected to be able to ….

  • Follow and understand simple instructions
  • Stay focused on one thing for a short period of time
  • Show an interest in exploring new concepts and new things
  • Use simple vocabulary to express themselves

Great! But how can my child improve these skills at home?

I suggest every day your child spends some time with an adult performing one or more of following activities:

  • Listening to and singing along with songs and nursery rhymes
  • Read to your child and let them “read” books on their own by flipping pages. Ask questions and talk about the story and pictures in the book
  • Practice using a variety of writing and drawing materials, with plain and colour paper, crayons, markers, paint, etc.
  • Play games with them so they learn to follow simple instructions
  • Let them help in the kitchen when preparing snacks or simple dishes

You can find more information and ideas for activities on the Internet and in books you can purchase at your local book store.

If instead you want to save time and feel confident that you are providing professionally developed learning activities for your child that are also fun and entertaining, consider joining Sqooll. You can find out more at https://sqooll.com/join/

And let’s talk about how we can improve the air pollution as well.

Happy Teaching!

Next week: Math Concepts!

P.S. The May Activity Pack themes are Day & Night and Nocturnal Animal. There are a few May Packs still available, so act now if you want to start improving those literacy skills at home today!