From reading signs and menus, to reading a book or an instruction manual, reading is a part of our everyday lives. We want to facilitate a love of literature into our children, because not only is it a necessary skill, but it is the key to a whole other world of learning and life! How can we help facilitate a love of reading?
○ From the moment a child is born, you can begin engaging them with literacy by surrounding them with books and looking through them together!
○ Make it engaging: You don’t need to read every word on the page! Talk through the pictures, play I spy, have your child guess what they think might happen next.
○ Ask questions: prompt your child to think deeper about what’s being read. Ask simple wh- questions e.g. “Who do you think that is?” “What do you think she will do?”
○ Pause: give your child time to notice what’s happening in the pictures and to comment on what they think is happening in the story.
○ Talk about the big/unfamiliar words: this helps to build your child’s vocabulary and understand.
o Make age appropriate books easily accessible so that your child can pick them up and look through them.
○ Model: read books by yourself around your child – they will want to copy!
○ Offering a choice: e.g “Would you like a snack or a toy?”
o Expose your child to phonics and the alphabet: remember that the letter name (e.g. s which we say ‘es’) is not the same as the letter sound (e.g. s makes the ‘ssss’ sound). Kids need to be able to identify the letter and it’s sound in order the sound out and read words.
o Practice identifying the first sound in words e.g. “I spy with my little eye, something that starts with the ‘fff’ sound’
o Practice sounding out words e.g. “I see a c-a-t, what can I see?”
o Clap out sounds in words: e.g. “el-e-phant, that has 3 sounds!, how many sounds does kitten have?’