Your child may not learn to read until they have entered school, but there is a lot that caregivers can do to help develop pre-reading skills of the children in their lives, so that these little ones will be ready for reading when the time comes. Librarians all over utilize the five practices of Every Child Ready to Read when preparing programming for their youngest patrons to nurture these skills, and you can too! The five practices of Every Child Ready to Read are Reading, Talking, Singing, Playing, and Writing.
All five practices of Every Child Ready to Read are important, as they work together to foster early literacy skills, but reading with your child is truly the most important activity you can do to get them ready to read. Raise a child who loves reading by creating happy experiences surrounding reading; it is a gift that will last a lifetime. While reading with the children in your life, you can:
- Compare what is happening in the book to the child’s own experiences.
- Remember to throw in some informational books. Picture books about animals and nature are often works of non-fiction, and they can be just as engaging as fictional stories!
- Have children choose what you read.
- Make the noises of animals as they appear in any books you read.
- Give voices to different characters, or not, just read with an expressive voice!
- Point to words as you read them; also, moving your finger from left to right as you read shows children that words are read from left to right.
- Talk about rhyming words, shapes, numbers, letters, and illustrations, as you read.
- Point out the name(s) of the author and illustrator of the book and talk about what they contributed to the making of the book.
If you can, try and read with your children a little every day, even just for ten minutes, and don’t forget the babies! Babies may try and chew on books or bat the pages, but reading with children is just as much about listening and learning as it is about bonding with caring adults, so it’s valuable even if you don’t feel like the child is old enough to appreciate it. Also, with babies you might try reading for just a few minutes, the equivalent of one board book, multiple times a day.
If you need suggestions on what to read, talk to ELPL staff, or check out the booklists we publish on our website, elpl.org!
For more information on Every Child Ready to read, check out this earlier blog post: https://www.elpl.org/blogs/post/lets-get-ready-to-read/