Ready to Read: Talking
As children hear spoken language, they learn new words and what they mean. This will help children understand the meaning of what they read.
- Make sure your children have lots of opportunities to talk with you, not just listen to you talk.
- Respond to what your children say and extend the conversation.
- Stretch your children’s vocabulary. Repeat what your children say and use new words.
Ready to Read: Singing
Singing slows down language so children can hear the different sounds in words. This helps when children begin to read printed language.
- Sing the alphabet song to learn about letters.
- Sing nursery rhymes like “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” or childhood favorites like “The Wheels on the Bus”.
- Clap along to the rhythm in songs so children hear the syllables in words.
- When you sing, babies are drawn to the sound of your voice and to the playful sounds of words and rhymes.
Ready to Read: Reading
Reading together helps children learn how books work. Shared reading also helps children develop an interest in reading and a desire to learn to read for themselves.
- Make shared reading interactive. Have your children turn the pages. Talk about the pictures as you read and ask questions that encourage your children to talk more. When you finish the book, ask your children to tell you about the story.
- Books use words that children don’t hear in everyday conversations. As you read, talk about what the words mean.
- Point to words and letters. Name the letters and make their sounds.
- Read with different voices. Your children will love it!
Ready to Read: Playing
Play helps children express themselves and put thoughts into words, which helps them understand written words later on.
- Give your children plenty of play time. Encourage them to use their imaginations by giving them props or “costumes” you find around the house.
- Encourage dramatic play. When children make up stories using puppets or stuffed animals it helps them understand that books have a beginning, middle, and an end.
- Have your children act out a story based on the pictures in a book.
- Ask your children to pretend to read you a book you’ve read together many times.
Ready to Read: Writing
- Writing begins with scribbles and marks. Give your children many opportunities to draw and write. Keep crayons, markers, or magnetic letters within reach.
- Children can ‘sign’ their names to drawings.
- Encourage babies to grip toys, which helps build their hand muscles so they can write later on.
- Talk to your children about what they draw, and write captions or stories together.
For more information, go to Every Child Ready to Read!