Tips for helping a child get ready to read:
- Hopefully, the child will have been read to on a several-times-a-week basis starting during their baby years. If not, parents should begin now reading to their child every day.
- Help develop a love for reading in the child. Make story time special and in a special place. It should be fun, with books that interest the child.
- Visit the library every week during children’s story time. While at the library, let the child choose a couple of books to check out and take home.
- Play alphabet games with the child.
- Play games of what happened “first, next and last.” (Ex: First, you brush your teeth. Next, you put on your pajamas. Last, you go to bed.) You can do this with any activity the child does.
- Have the child watch “Word World” on TV. It teaches alphabet letters and words in a cute, colorful format. Our grandson absolutely loves that program and started watching it when he was a baby. He’s 19 months old now, and it is the only show that will keep his attention the entire time. He already knows most of his uppercase letters. If you’ve never watched Word World, I highly recommend it. It’s one of the best children’s shows on television.
When reading a book to the child:
(You will have to adjust the questions according to the age of the child.)
- Talk about the picture on each page first before reading the page.
- Run your finger under words as you read them.
- Play a guessing game of “What do you think will happen next?” as you are reading the story to the child.
- Ask, “Why do you think this happened?” when appropriate. Accept their answer as valid and never put down a child’s answer. If they don’t know why, suggest a possibility.
- Share what you like and what you don’t like about a story.
- Ask child what they liked and what they didn’t like about the story.
- Talk about what happened first, next, and last.
- Talk about what the story is mainly about.
- Have child draw pictures about the story.