Dayton Metro Library’s Quick Text Tips are all about keeping it simple: simple suggestions for parents to help their children learn, provided in a simple format. In 160 characters or less, the Library offers suggestions, support, and reminders to caregivers who are eager to help their little ones acquire early literacy and learning skills, but may not recognize the easy ways they can incorporate this learning into daily life. Sign up for Text Tips by texting DML-Tips to 38671.
“Our text messages prompt parents to take advantage of everyday situations and turn them into fun learning opportunities,” said Kathleen Moore, Early Literacy Specialist at the Library. “Something as simple as reading signs out loud at the grocery store, or pointing out objects that start with the letter B, can make a big difference in a toddler’s vocabulary and reading readiness.”
While they may be simple, text tips are also significant. In a study conducted by Stanford researchers, parents who received regular text tips spent more time doing literacy-related activities with their preschoolers, and their children acquired two to three months’ worth of learning compared to their peers.
“We find that parents want to help their children learn, but they don’t always know what they can do,” said Moore. “They may think their baby is too young, or that it’s better left to a teacher. But parents are a child’s first – and best – teacher. Our tips are designed to be part of a parent’s normal routine with their child.”
Participants generally receive three text tips each week; one is geared for babies, another for toddlers, and a third for preschoolers.
“The activities we recommend are not just about preparing a child to read,” said Moore. “Each activity caregivers share with their child is a chance to have fun together, celebrate accomplishments and bond.”
Sample texts might be:
Encourage your toddler to touch different textures. Then help him give each a name: “Your sweater is soft.” “The carpet is fuzzy.”
Take a Math Walk with your preschooler. While you walk, ask your child to find 4 rocks, take 5 big steps, or pick up 6 leaves.
All children experience difficult feelings. Share books about characters with similar feelings. Talk about how they feel and what they do.
Text Tips can be encouraging to parents, such as “Love spending time with your baby? This attention and interaction with your baby will help him be more successful in school.” They can also suggest Library resources and programs for young children: “Your Library offers storytimes especially for babies through preschoolers. These free sessions are fun, social, and develop your child’s love of learning.”
To sign up for Text Tips, text DML-Tips to 38671. Standard text rates apply. For more information, visit DaytonMetroLibrary.org/Love or call 937.463.2665.