Is your child running around the house singing the ABC song? Is he/she asking about the letters or beginning to recognize letters? Perfect! Here’s how to take those beginning reading skills to the next level.
If your little one is inquisitive always asking “what’s this?”; the place to start is with the consonant letters of the alphabet. The first word that children typically recognize is their name so begin with those letters. Be sure to begin their name with a capital and keep the rest of the letters lower case.
Forming letters in shaving cream, sand, rice, pudding or painting on ice are wonderful sensory and tactile learning experiences. Scavenger Hunts are always fun too. Hide the letters around your house. Kids love this. Colour words are another good starting point for word and letter recall.
Games and Rhyme
Producing and recognizing rhyming words is a core reading skill. Rhyme becomes a very useful tool when learning to read new words. Have fun with rhyme. Accept those silly nonsense words. What’s important is that your child is learning to manipulate sounds.
Have Fun When Reading
Using silly voices, adding sound effects and talking about the pictures add real interest to the words on the page. Before turning the page chat about what might happen next. Your child doesn’t know it but you are providing an invaluable opportunity for him/her to begin to build his/her predicting and inferring skills.
According to the National Institute for Children’s Health and Development; “It takes 1000 hours of laptime for young children to have the readiness skills in place to learn to read.” Reading aloud to your child for 15 minutes a day prepares them for Kindergarten learning and the transition from learning to read to reading to learn.
Children’s books, that use repetitive words, are a marvellous tool for your child to kick start this vocabulary bank and to hear the rhythm of our language. Reading to children even before they can understand, teaches them to associate books with love and affection. Those dearly beloved books that are read over and over – no worries.
Model Being A Reader
Whether you have magazines or novels in your home, pick up an old fashioned book and let your little one see you read. After all, you are your child’s hero and they want to be just like you.
Take a moment and share some of the fun activities that you and your child do together to foster the love of reading - we always love hearing your thoughts and suggestions!