Early Learning Preschool
What happens by age 5 impacts everything
From day one, a child’s brain begins forming connections very quickly—connections which build the foundation for all learning he or she will do later in life. In fact 90% of children's critical brain development occurs by age 5. Children who are read to, sung to, and talked to from a young age develop bigger vocabularies, become better readers, and are more likely to succeed in school.
Research indicates that when children are reached with high quality early learning experiences, they are 40% less likely to fall behind in school. In fact, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, half of the school achievement gap between economically-disadvantaged young children and their more affluent peers starts before kindergarten. (Make Way for Books)
A good example of a book that can support your child’s emerging literacy is the delightful Knuffle Bunny, by Mo Willems. This book tells the story of Trixie, a toddler whose favorite bunny gets left behind during a trip to the Laundromat. Sharing Knuffle Bunny can:
Enrich your child’s life by affirming, valuing, and extending what she knows about the world and herself. Toddlers who accompany their parents to the Laundromat each week will relate to Trixie’s experiences. For other toddlers who have never had that experience, sharing this story might extend what they already know about washing clothes while exposing them to a new concept—a trip to the Laundromat.
Strengthen your relationship with your child through the physical closeness and conversation that is part of sharing books with infants and toddlers. Toddlers who have a favorite toy may connect emotionally with Trixie, who loses and then finds her favorite stuffed animal at the Laundromat.
Support emerging literacy as your infant or toddler begins to learn how stories and books “work.” Knuffle Bunny gives very young children the opportunity to learn about the structure of a story (that it has a beginning, middle, and end, as well as characters and a plot) and how print and pictures convey or tell the meaning of the story.