Babies first ABC Play activity
Being able to read a book, starts with the recognition and understanding of letters. The alphabet comes best to a child in a playful way by scribbeling, manipulative activities, copying letters and later on writing them. Seeing the use of letters can be one of those magical cognitive moments in the development of a child.
The language skills of a child starts, that is what I believe, in the womb of the mother. Around the 20th week a baby can hear the voices from it's parents or other sounds coming from the outside. Hearing different kind of vibrations, rythms can make it easier for baby to recognise and distinguish the sounds of letters while growing up.
If you think that a baby is not smart enough yet for this kind of learning, please have a look at these recent studies. They have showed what babies are capable of thinking, feeling, and understanding.
Only recently dominant theories from Piaget and Freud, in which very young children were thought to be barely conscious at all, have been overturned. Your baby is a fully aware person, speaking to you in many ways. It only needs our complete presence of "decoding" it's needs and desires. (In 'before your baby smiles', Janet Lansbury speaks beautifully about the image of a newborn baby).
After birth, the talking, singing or reading to your baby is not only bonding parent and child, it is also learning your baby the principals of speech. Children are made readers on the lap of their parents became a famous quote because it's the simple truth. And if the verbal communication is combined with a loving touch of it's small body, a baby understands it has a own physical appearance in this world, independent from it's parents.
Language in all of it's ways enriches so both children as adults.
"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall."
— Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Playful ways with the alphabet are on my 'back to school' special:
Foto comes from the Dutch "Boekstart" -page