I recently found an old guest post on Simple Mom entitled 30 Simple Ways to Get Your Child Ready to Read. The list that is given is an excellent, well-developed presentation of steps you can take to promote early literacy in your children. I thought I would add a few more suggestions that have worked well in our family.
- When your child is too young to sit still through an entire story, put him on your lap and look through a book, ignoring the words but pointing to the illustrations and describing the pictures. Tell what is happening on the pages in your own words, turning the page as soon as your child is ready.
- Be very descriptive when talking about things you see, whether in a book or in real life. Say what color something is, mention its’ size and give any other distinguishing features.
- Visit a few story time programs at the library or bookstore. It will expose your child to other adults reading aloud and introduce you and your child to books you may not have found otherwise.
- While at the library or bookstore, allow your child to explore the different sections. Let him select a certain number of books, then take them to a reading corner or table and look through them together.
- When you sign birthday or other special occasion cards for family and friends, help your child “write” their name on the card, saying each letter as the two of you print it together.
- As your child grows and you begin reading aloud to your child some books that are a bit longer, find a suspenseful place to stop in the story so that he will look forward to the next reading session.
- Try to find a particular series of books that your child will enjoy, i.e. Franklin the Turtle or Curious George. Reading about a familiar character in different situations may encourage them to want to read more.