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‘Early literacy development does not simply happen; rather, it is a social process, embedded in children’s relationships with parents, grandparents, extended family members, siblings, teachers, caregivers, friends and the wider community’ (Clarke, 1999, p.1). The power of play is the most useful tool for literacy and numeracy learning.

Educators dealing with children from newborn to five years must acknowledge the developmental stage of this age group. Young children do not process information, make sense of it, grasp it, or learn the same as older children. Promoting chances for kids to investigate, be exposed to, and engage in reading and numeracy is essential to early childhood development.

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“Children want to write. They want to write on the first day they attend school. This is no accident. Before they went to school, they marked up walls, pavements, and newspapers with crayons, chalk, pens, or pencils…anything that makes a mark. The child’s marks say, ‘I am.'”

– Donald Graves

Children, age two, use paper to express themselves and interact with others. Although toddlers and preschoolers may not write in the traditional sense, they display their writing ability by scribbling, sketching, and constructing letter-like structures. An adult’s response to a child’s first attempts at writing can either nurture or extinguish their natural desire to write. Therefore, parents, teachers, administrators and community stakeholders must understand the critical stages of writing development and encourage positive attitudes toward writing.

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