You can help your child develop an awareness of language and literacy skills long before they are able to read by exposing them to books. These skills developed early in life can help set the stage for later academic success. Here are 10 tips to help your child fall in love with books and reading.
“Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are 3 – 4 times more likely to drop out in later years.” -National Adult Literacy Survey, (1002) NCES, U.S. Department of Education
Expose your child to books as an infant.
Create a cozy reading area for your child.
Read to your child often.
Allow your child to read to you.
Visit the library and allow your child to pick out books of their choice.
Don’t force reading time.
Read their favorite books over and over again.
Don’t use reading as a punishment or take it away as a punishment.
Be patient with your child and don’t trip if pages get skipped or if every page doesn’t get read.
Make reading an interactive experience (change your voice, point out pictures, discuss what you see going on in the images)
Watch the video below to see my two-year old “read” to me. This is one of his favorite stories and we read it often. He loves the repetition in this story. I let him go at his own pace and turn the pages. Sometimes we read it fast and sometimes we read it slow and point out the animals and count the kittens at the end.
The easiest way to teach young children new concepts is to introduce the concepts through games and activities. Young children are very hands on and in order for them to retain the information they learn they must routinely be exposed to it. There are many ways to teach children about shapes and colors and this free printable will help you get started! This printable can help you introduce shapes and colors and will give you some ideas for a few different ways you can use it.
Do not underestimate the value of play! Play is necessary for healthy growth and development in children. Play is also one of the main ways in which children learn! Playing alone and also with others is fun and therefore children become very absorbed in it. Play encourages the development of the imagination, develops motor skills and teaches self expression. Play also helps develop children’s concentration, social skills, and cooperation abilities. Play is also a way for children to let off some steam and relax because play is an outlet for anxiety and stress.
Here are some examples of skills gained through play:
Cognitive skills – Play gives children the opportunity to problem solve (How does this work? Does this block fit here?). Children also learn colors, numbers, size and shapes. Stimulating environments encourage children to think at higher levels.
Physical skills – Fine motor skills are developed as children manipulate and handle small toys and objects. Gross motor skills are developed as a child learns to reach, grasp, crawl, run, climb and balance.
Social skills – Playing with other children allows children to learn how to work in groups, share, negotiate, resolve conflicts and learn self-advocacy skills.
Language, literacy, and vocabulary skills – language develops as children play and interact with others. Through interactions, conversations, and also when books are read new words are learned.