Getting them ready to read
your child between the ages of three and five? If so, you can
do a lot to make getting ready to read a natural part of daily life. Most
three- to five-year-olds still have a way to go before they are ready to read
and write. There”s no need to rush this natural growth, but you can help your
child build the knowledge, skills, and habits he or she needs to become a
reader and a writer later on.
PAYS TO PLAY
Transform your child’s play
into activities that help her get ready to read and write:
- Be sure your child has time
to play with other children so she can learn to communicate with her peers.
- Engage in conversation
with your child. Listen to her, and share your own ideas with her. Use “difficult”
words sometimes, and talk about what they mean.
- Play games with your child
using letters, words, and numbers.
- Use rhythm and rhyme
through songs and finger-plays.
- Create several sets of
flashcards with a picture glued onto one card and its naming word on a separate card. Tell a mini story that explains the word about each picture and word while holding both the picture and a word card up. Then get your child to learn to play a matching game by matching the picture card with the correct word card.
- Take your child to grocery
stores, parks, museums, art galleries, and community events. You’ll be helping
him learn new words and learn more about the world around him.
Show your child how you use
reading and writing in your everyday activities:
- When you make a list or write a note for
someone, or when you read the newspaper, a map, or your
email, your child sees that reading and writing are useful.
- Talk with your child about signs, schedules,
and books, and encourage her to try reading them.
- Read aloud to your child. Don’t know what to
read? Your librarian can help.
- Visit the library, and help your child get a
library card as soon as she can.
Encourage children to draw,
write, and use books for fun and learning:
- Keep books, magazines, and
games at home where your child can use them.
- Keep materials for drawing and writing where
your child can use them.
- When your child draws, ask him to tell you
about the picture.
- Write his words down so he can go back to
them and “read” them himself.
- Show that you value your child’s efforts to
read and write.
- Remember that even scribbles are a step toward
- Since total electronic hours should not
exceed two hours per day, TV shows such as Sesame Street or Word
World which are meant to get children interested in
reading and writing are a good use of that time.
- There are many electronic games and apps
designed to help children gain reading and writing skills and many are free, like the ad-free games at pbskids.org. The Web site Reading Rockets also rates low-cost print awareness apps.
Want to learn more about
what you can do to get preschoolers ready to read? Visit these Web sites:
Courtesy of Illinois Early Learning Project