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The Five Important Skills Children Needed for Literacy Success

Literacy skills

Literacy skills refer to the ability to read and comprehend in an effort to accomplish a variety of academic and life-related tasks. Reading involves understanding text; writing includes constructing texts, editing them to make them more readable, and publishing work; speaking deals with delivering oral communication. Children need to be able to identify and understand different types of words (elements of speech), recognize and interpret their meaning (concepts), distinguish between similar words (relationships), understand how language works (grammar), and apply this understanding in social contexts. The most essential of these are:

1. Phonetic awareness

2. Print awareness

3. Vocabulary

4. Storytelling

5. Spelling

Why are Literacy Skills important?

Literacy skills are important because they are the basics of education. They help you understand what you read, write, and speak. Having flourished literacy skills allow kids to formulate their thoughts, teach them how to express opinions clearly, and motivate them to communicate their concerns with others. Reading skills also improve kids’ knowledge of their environment (awareness of places), themselves (self-awareness), and society (awareness of culture).

Children need to learn the fundamentals of literacy because it is the first step towards learning to read.

Baby Steps Daycare emphasizes helping young children develop their literacy skills to embark on a successful educational career. In this article, we will be identifying the five important skills children need for literacy success and ways you can build these skills.

The Five Literacy Skills and Ways to Improve These Skills


1. Phonetic Awareness

phonetic awareness

Phonetic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate sounds in spoken words. It is a prerequisite for decoding or understanding letters in written language to represent meaningful speech sounds. Often this skill will start to develop during the childhood years. For your kid, this might happen by listening to their teachers, parents, and others in their environment. 

Although this essential skill naturally starts to develop for many kids, it is vital to continue nurturing it as your kid grows. Here’s why: when a kid can break down a word into individual sounds, chances are they will become strong writers and proficient readers. It is because they have learned and familiarized themselves with how to sound words out. It gives kids a big advantage when they come across a new word. Help your kids use this phonetic approach to sound it out, and you will be amazed that they will expand their vocabulary in no time.

Here are tips on how you can encourage your child to build this essential skill:

1. Reading books to children improves language skills. Read books with them and choose books that employ lots of rhyming, like Dr. Seuss’s One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, or The Cat In The Hat.

2. When you read with your child, try to practice sounding out tricky words. For instance, a dinosaur sounding out turns into a di-no-saur.

3. Create poems or engage in rhyming games with your kid. It helps to teach your kid that rhymes always depend on words that end with the same sounds.

4. Have them practice blending sounds in words in fun ways like picture games, tongue twisters, and more

2. Print Awareness

print awareness

Print awareness is another important skill that children need to possess for reading success. It refers to an understanding of the purpose and meaning of print and how they relate to each other. It will help them become more comfortable when reading a book or doing a task that requires reading.

Encourage your child to get curious about books. For instance, it is essential to show your kids how to hold a book properly, find information in a book, and search the internet for books. Reading will help your kid become an active participant in their reading environment. You can do this by exposing them to various texts (books, newspapers, magazines) that will expose them to different writing styles. They will develop their preferences according to the subject matter, genre, and style. The more they read, the more comfortable they will get with reading interesting material.

Here are tips on how you can encourage your child to build this essential skill:

1. Show them how to hold a book, look at the cover, and read information about it

2. Give attention to printed words wherever you go by pointing them out on restaurant menus and street signs.

3. Allow your kid to turn the pages of books: textured books and board books are excellent for this and for engaging your kid’s curiosity.

4. Bring your child to the library and have him pick out a book for himself; this way, he can see many books, and he’ll get excited to read them all.

3. Vocabulary

literacy skills

Vocabulary is a word that describes the words a person can understand and use for communication. It is a critical skill that will help your kid read books on their own and enable them to become successful readers.

Kids who have difficulties with reading usually lack strong vocabulary skills. They find reading challenging because they cannot grasp the meaning of the words they encounter, including new ones. The best way for them to build their vocabulary is by reading! They’ll naturally learn new words, how to pronounce them, and how to use them in sentences.

Here are tips on how you can encourage your child to build this essential skill:

1. Read aloud to your kid and regularly read together; you can start by using picture books like picture books about dinosaurs that show the meaning of the word behind the picture.

2. Point out new words to your kids and discuss their meaning.

3. Make conversations a regular routine for your kids; it is an excellent way to learn new words to ask you if they have difficulty learning it.

4. With older kids, you can play word games like Boggle or Scrabble. You can even create your own board game where you need to come up with as many words as possible, starting with a letter or two provided by you.

4. Storytelling

literacy skills

Storytelling is a skill that kids need to learn when they’re learning how to read. This skill will help your kid engage in reading and understand the story by using their imagination.

Kids who love to read will love to tell stories! They become excited when they get an opportunity to share their own experiences or knowledge of things with others. Books and movies offer them exciting stories of adventure, good and evil, good overcomes evil, and more.

Here are tips on how you can encourage your child to build this essential skill:

1. Be creative by asking your kid to imagine what happens next in a story. Encourage your kid to think creatively and ask his version of the story. It is an excellent way to nurture his cognitive skills even more.

2 . When reading a book to your kid, make sure you read from the characters’ point of view. And focus on their opinions and feelings in a particular event in a story. 

3. Read your kid’s favorite comics or graphic novels that have a lot of pictures in them, then encourage him to give his version of the story by describing what happened in the pictures of each panel.

4. Encourage your child to retell a familiar story from memory. Take turns retelling a favorite fable, folktale, or fairy tale from memory while adding details of your invention. 

5. Spelling

literacy skills

Spelling is an essential skill needed for reading. It is the ability to sound out new words by remembering the letters that make them and putting them together in the correct order. Kids need to learn new words whenever they’re learning how to read. They also need to understand what each word they encounter in a book is based on their spelling patterns.

Spelling is another skill that will require your kid to make use of his imagination. For instance, kids need to think of the sounds of the letters when spelling words in reading. They can create their spelling pattern by linking letters to familiar words they already know.

Here are tips on how you can encourage your child to build this essential skill:

1. Play spelling games to help your kids practice. It may be a bit challenging at the start, so have them first spell short words with just a few letters.

2. Have your kids spell the names of their friends and family members, toys, games they love to play, foods they eat a lot of, and even pets!

3. When reading a book to kids, stop now and then and ask them what comes after the word you’ve read already. They will eventually catch on to how you do it.

4. Print out some simple spelling words, and let your kids play them with you to nurture their learning experience. You can even print out flashcards of words that need to be taught.

Literacy skills are important for kids as they grow up. As a parent, you can support your kid’s literacy development by providing a fun and creative environment. It will improve their ability for independent reading, think of creative ideas, and build a strong vocabulary and storytelling skills.