Friday, April 26, 2013

Early Literacy Fun - Reading

Reading is a cornerstone of education and communication in our world today. Children that start school with the foundational skills to be ready to read are less likely to fall behind their peers and more likely to be successful in academics throughout life. Reading together helps to build all of the six pre-reading skills: letter knowledge, phonological awareness, print awareness, narrative skills, vocabulary and print motivation. It also helps to build those caring relationships with one another that are vital not only for learning but for life! Here are some fun ways to incorporate reading into your daily life together.

  • Read environmental print like road signs, cereal boxes, shampoo bottles and leaflets.
  • Have books available for your child to explore on their own. Board books and cloth books are great. Even though they aren’t really reading yet, just exploring the books, turning pages and even chewing on them are all steps towards reading on their own down the road.
  • Read chapter books together with pre-schoolers. Even though they can’t read these on their own yet children need not wait until their school years to enjoy a chapter book. Try sharing one of your favorites from childhood!
  • Try some wordless picture books. Though there are no printed words to read in these books, there are still stories to be shared. Wordless picture books allow children to create their own stories based on their experiences.
  • Listen to a book on CD together when on road trips.
  • Bring more environmental print into your home by labeling things like walls, doors, chairs and tables.
  • Give books for Christmas and birthday presents to show your child that books are special and fun.
  • Model reading for your children. Let them see you reading books, magazines and newspapers at home.
  • Create a book nook in a playroom, bedroom or family space with soft cushions to sit on and easy access to books.
  • Don’t be afraid to repeat what you’ve read. Kids love novelty, but they also love repetition. So if they have a favorite book they request often - read it again, and again, and again.
  • Make your own books featuring your neighborhood, family, friends and favorite activities.