Children begin to develop early literacy skills from birth. Therefore, ensuring that parents and caregivers are provided with the resources and education necessary to support their child’s early literacy development is critical. To help with this effort, the La Porte County Public Library is pleased to partner with the La Porte Hospital Maternal Care Program to offer moms and their new babies “Early Literacy Flip Decks.” These flip decks are appropriate for babies from birth to three months of age and were purchased with a Unity Power for Good Grant awarded to the library from the Unity Foundation of La Porte County.
These particular flip decks were chosen for a few different reasons. They are easily portable as they are attached to a keyring that can hang on a stroller or a bag strap. They are also small enough to fit into a bag. The flip decks are designed to be easily accessible and parents and caregivers can use them at any time.
Each of the flashcards on the ring presents a simple picture using contrasting colors, primarily black and white. Research has been conducted as to how such images benefit infants. For example, according to an article from TTS, “visual contrast encourages babies to explore the different patterns and textures offered… Strong black and white patterns also help babies to develop their ability to focus their attention and levels of concentration.” An article written by Summer Land for The Tot also discusses babies’ preference for high contrast images. “Stimulating your baby’s vision,” Land says, “and helping them determine shapes and colors is important for strengthening their cognitive abilities as well as their gross motor skills. Because high contrast images are easier for babies to interpret, they are the best way for your tot to lengthen their attention span, improve his or her memory, and develop their nervous system. It is also beneficial in terms of social development.” It is also important to keep in mind that newborns cannot initially see or distinguish between colors, therefore using black and white images is especially useful during this time in their lives.
Another benefit that this set of flashcards offer is the inclusion of a guide for parents. This guide offers suggestions to parents regarding the best ways to use the flashcards with their infants. This is particularly helpful for the first-time parent or the parent who may be a little nervous about working with their child on their early literacy development. At the La Porte County Public Library, we encourage parents and caregivers to support their child’s early literacy development from birth. Therefore, having this guide for the flashcards on hand will help adults understand how to use the cards with even the smallest newborn to gain the most benefit for their child.
One of the primary goals of the La Porte County Public Library is to promote the early literacy development of all children in the community and empower parents and caregivers with the education and resources necessary to help their children. The Early Literacy Flip Decks will be a great method of reaching new moms at La Porte Hospital. Thus will begin a brand new baby’s journey into the wonderful world of reading.