Here's a secret - most of the things that you do in youth programs and Story Times cover more than one of the five practices of early literacy. While it's easy to cover the entire spread in specific programs, caregivers may feel like if they're not doing the same, they're not doing well enough or helping at all.
It's worth pointing out that many of those things that do get done cover more than one of the practices by themselves. Play is sometimes the easiest gateway to all the other practices, but all five can link easily and seamlessly between each other. Foregrounding this may help make caregivers feel less anxious about making sure they do everything right.
Here are some ways of helping caregivers feel better about their work:
- "It doesn't take complicated rules and lots of pieces to play good early literacy games with your child. Pointing out everything around you is a good way of adding vocabulary, and as they get older, you can ask them to list back to you what you said as a memory game, exercising multiple parts of the brain."
- "When you count, count to more than ten. Count by twos or threes or different numbers. It helps numeracy and math skills as well as exposing children to the names of higher numbers."