Promote Reading Every Day
Learning is something children enjoy and even every day activities can provide moments to offer learning activities. Playing, talking, singing, writing, and reading together are wonderful ways to offer learning opportunities. The literacy skill activities provided here are fun ways for you to connect with your children and have long lasting effects while preparing them for school. Encourage a lifetime of learning!
Tips for Reading Together
- Get comfy! Try to sit together so that children can see the pictures easily. Be informal.
- Look over the book before beginning to read. Look for words or pictures to point out.
- Be energetic and make it fun for you both! Try different voices, volumes, or facial expressions as you read. If you are uncomfortable reading, just look at the illustrations together and talk about the pictures.
- Schedule a special time to read. Bedtime works, but any time of day is a good time to read! Take your time and be patient. Allow for questions, distractions, and pauses. Encourage participation by asking the child/children to fill in a repeated word or ask them questions such as what might happen on the next page.
- Read the story over and over again. Kids love repetition!
Activities and titles listed are just suggestions, so please substitute as you see fit. Creativity and change is allowed. You don’t have to do exactly as recommended. We all learn at different speeds so let the child set the pace and have fun!
Help Your Children Get Ready for reading with Five Actions
- Help your child notice print all around you, not just in the books that you read. Point out letters and words as you see them in signs, on buildings, anywhere, and everywhere.
- Name letters as you see them, and talk about their shapes and sounds. (For example, “Look, there is the letter /S/. It is curvy like a snake and even sounds like one too. Sssss.”)
- Let children hear you talking to others in addition to talking to them as often as possible. The more they hear language, the bigger their vocabulary will grow.
- Pick books to read that can be sung easily, such as nursery rhymes.
- Listen to children's songs in the car or at home throughout the day. Story songs help children begin to understand the elements of a story, and build vocabulary.
- Singing is a great way to practice repetition and to commit to memory. Think of the ABC song that teaches the letters of the alphabet. What a fun way to learn!
- Read, read, read as much and as broadly as possible. Use lift-the-flap books, board books, fiction, and non-fiction. Even books with no words help teach concepts: you can discuss the pictures, make up your own story, or notice that pages move from left to right and that stories have a sequence of a beginning, middle, and end.
- Read favorite books again and again! Children will begin to anticipate words as they hear a story read multiple times. Recognition of sounds, letters, and words comes with repeated exposure.
- Check out some of the suggestions in our Recommended Reading web page.
- Scribble and draw pictures. Let your child tell you a story and copy it down for them to see.
- Have your child practice making lines, circles, and curves which are shapes that will later form letters. Trace letters with fingers as you talk about the name, shape, and sound.
- Act out stories your children know. Use toys, puppets, or props to retell stories.
- Use play dough, puzzles, sorting or matching games, sensory bins, musical toys, colorful scarves, wooden blocks, etc. to explore the senses and engage imagination.
- Find ways to pretend: cook a meal with imaginary ingredients using real pots and pans, make a shopping list of items in your pantry and go “shopping” at home, or draw a map of your home and have a treasure hunt for something you have hidden.