High Five - Reading Together: Birth to Preschool
You Are Your Child's First Teacher!
Early Literacy is what children know about reading before they can actually read, and YOU are the key to preparing your child for reading success. The Chandler Public Library's High Five- Reading Together programs can help. Check our events calendar and attend a weekly storytime, Read and Play Group, or a periodic Every Child Ready to Read Workshop, where literacy tips and book recommendations are given out for free to everyone who attends.
The Five Practices
Help your child get ready to read by helping them with these five simple practices:
- Comment on new words as they come up in stories, on TV or on the radio.
- Have children make up different endings to your stories. E.g. "What would have happened if. . . ?"
- Talk, talk, and talk to your child about everyday and about everything you do.
- Even if your child doesn't talk much, keep on teaching, they are "little recorders" and are still learning.
- Your child's ability to remember names of things is humongous!
- The words a child hears in the first three years of life establishes their adult vocabulary.
- If you’re thinking of teaching your child a second language it’s more likely to stick if taught within the first 5 years.
- Did you know whenever you talk, read or sing to your child, their brain cells are being turned on?
- Did you know: The brain of a 2-year old is twice as active as a college student’s brain!
- Did you know that children develop early literacy skills even before they learn to speak?
- Singing with your children teaches them to hear the small parts of words, which is a natural way to teach them syllables.
- Rhyming helps children learn their language. Recite poems and nursery rhymes often. Reciting nursery rhymes to your child helps them learn the rhythms and patterns of language.
- Converse a while with your child in "made up" words. Inflection is part of understanding words and it can be so funny.
- Use an instrument to tap out the syllables in a child's name.
- Insert your child's name in a song.
- Repetition is important. Read stories again and again.
- Read when your child is in a receptive mood. No one likes to be forced.
- Be someone to be copied. When parents read in front of their children, they show they love books.
- Occasionally point out words and details and move your finger across the page.
- Reading to children is the best way to expose them to new words.
- Don't let the sun set on a book-free day. Make books part of every day with your child. Don't let a day go by without reading a book, a poem, or a story. Good reading habits can be established by reading to your child every day. Reading helps lengthen your child’s attention span.
- Read in an upbeat, happy voice. It’s a great way to bond. Make reading fun by reading with lots of expression!
- Even a baby learns quickly to turn the pages. It’s never too early to begin reading to your child.
- Point to words on signs, packages and labels. Help the child find the letters of their name on a page.
- Using visuals while you read (even a simple stuffed animal) is really fun for children.
- Make letters out of different things. E.g. carrots, buttons, sticks.
- Draw letters in sand or dirt.
- Let children scribble and doodle. This is a precursor for writing.
- Set the stage for fun. Have traditions that promote reading in your home (e.g. a book shelf, reading time).
- Reading time is fun! Libraries are fun!
- Buy books as presents: this shows what you value.
- Pretend you don't know how to hold the book. Let children tell you to hold it right side up.
- Place your books at home in plastic bins so your child can get to them easily.
- Children who learn to love books early in life will carry that into adulthood.
- Make it a habit to pack books when you are on the go.
- The ABC’s of parenting are Attention, Bonding and Communication.
- Research shows that touching your child not only stabilizes them emotionally, but it also nourishes their brain.
- Interacting with your child through play helps develop their attention span.
Also check out our Getting Ready to Read at Home tip sheet.