Reading and literacy are so important in a young child’s life. Reading fosters creativity, thinking, and imagination. We want to instill a love of reading and an appreciation of books at an early age. Here are some ideas to turn our children into readers and nurture our future literary geniuses.
Keep books everywhere, in their room, in the bathroom, and in the car. Make a library in your home, starting with a small bookshelf stocked with magazines and books. Visit your local library as a family. Allow the children to get their own library card. Children get so excited to have their own library card, and the responsibility that comes with that card. Make homemade cases to carry their library cards and decorate bags to carry their library books. They will want to use those cards, homemade cases and bags.
Read to and with your children every day. Children need to hear you read aloud so they can understand how a sentence that ends with an exclamation point or a question mark sounds. Ask questions like what do you think will happen next? How do you think that particular character feels? Then ask them to act out the story or draw a picture of want happened in the book. Lastly, let them ask you questions about what you just read to make sure YOU were paying attention
If there are older siblings, have the older children read to the Reading Head Start. My little ones were so excited to start reading because their older brother was reading. They wanted to learn at an early age because they saw how well and how cool their older sister was when she read to them.
Let the child write the grocery list, sounding out letters while you help with spelling. While shopping ask them to read the list they prepared. Encourage them to help you read labels. Tell them you want a whole grain cereal or bread and ask them to help you find it. When you find it show them the words WHOLE GRAIN.
Take out an old family recipe and let them help you read the recipe and prepare the dish. If it calls for milk, take the milk container and show them the word milk on the recipe and on the container.
Each day select a ” Letter For the Day.” Ask them to find words that begin with that letter in your home or while driving on signs and stores.
Create flashcards and tape the cards on everyday household items and pieces of furniture. For example, SOFA, REFRIGERATOR, DOOR, TABLE, and LAMP. As they recognize and read the words be excited that they are reading. Constantly encourage them!
Watch one of their favorite TV shows together as a family but press the MUTE and closed-caption buttons and read the captions together aloud. However, limit TV time, it’s best to have reading time as a family.
Start a children’s book club with classmates that would participate in play dates. Assign a book or allow the children to select their own book. The children will get together to discuss what they liked and disliked about the book while enjoying snacks. Also, allow the children to act out their favorite part or dress up like their favorite character.
Have a weekly reading goal and if they reach their goal reward them with a special treat: extra allowance, movie night, favorite restaurant, not having to do the dishes, etc.