Make a list and check it twice

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The power of a list

We make quite a few lists over the festive season – grocery lists, guest lists, present lists, card lists, naughty lists, nice lists. It seems endless!

The great thing about making lists, apart from being super organised, is that you can ask your little one to help put them together. So, if you are planning a Christmas grocery list or something for a family celebration, try asking your child for suggestions or talk through what you are adding and how each item will be used. This participation gives them a sense of ownership over the process and helps them build problem solving and decision-making skills. 

As your child watches you write and while talking about the words, the shape of the letters and the sounds they make, they’ll get to learn new ones! Before long, they will have their crayons out to make their own lists! And even though they may only scribble for now, they’re building fine motor skills as they learn to hold their crayon. 

Food for thought

“What are some of our favourite things to eat?” 

Flip through a magazine together and name all the different types of seasonal food you see. Not only are you supporting your child’s vocabulary, they’ll discover that pictures have meaning and build on their understanding of the seasonal traditions that your family enjoys at this time of the year. 

Sending cards together

Another list to nurture literacy is Christmas cards! Don't worry if this is something that you mean to do but never get to. There’s always next year, e-cards, or social media posts. If you do celebrate Christmas and manage to get some cards and intend to post them, share this activity together. No matter if your network is big or just a couple of close relatives, it’s an opportunity to talk about friends and family. Go through your family album together or look at photos on your phone and have conversations around who’s who and the special memories you have. The more you talk with your child, the more words they will learn. They’ll love hearing how they are connected into a wider community that cares about them.  

When you’re ready to write out your cards, your child can help with the pictures. What kind of things make Christmas, 'Christmas'? A tree? Decorations? Santa? A snowman? Even if it’s a simple marking on a page, it’s all about the process (not the product) that matters. Don’t forget to ask your child what their picture means and write the words underneath so others will appreciate that unique touch!  

Often, it’s the simple, everyday things we do that we can share with our children to help them on their literacy journey. So, start a new tradition this holiday season and make some lists together! 

First 5 Forever sessions are free at your local library. Join other families and enjoy a fun adventure with your little one.


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