You are a mother who wants the best for her child. You want him to have the best advantages in life and a head start in learning. You’re willing to sacrifice your precious time by finding the best teaching practices and opportunities for him. Although it’s not really a sacrifice of your time as you enjoy teaching him and watching him learn new things.
The best advantage you can give your child is the ability to read. In today’s society, everything requires one form of reading or another, from books and magazines to forms and instruction manuals. There is also a choice of reading from online sources or offline physical items. Reading is everywhere!
But before your child can begin to read, you’d need to lay the ground works to prepare him. He may not yet be ready to read but laying the foundations will help to foster an environment of learning.
Below are 15 pre reading activities that will help develop reading readiness.
1. Bake Name Biscuits. Using your favourite biscuit recipe let your child help you make a batch. Roll each biscuit into letters that form your child’s name. Bake it and when they’re cooked, arrange the letters to make her name. Tell her that it is her name. Alternatively, you can make the letters of the alphabet and tell her that these are alphabet biscuits.
2. Fish for Letters. Pour some magnetic letters into a container. Attach a string to a large magnet and let your child fish a magnet out. Tell him the letter every time he’s caught a letter.
3. Listen to Beginning Sounds. Exaggerate the beginning sounds in words. When you say stop, say it like, “Sssssstop!” Try other words such as “Nnnnice!”, “Grrrrrrrreat!” and “Fffffantastic!” Encourage her to do the same. When you stress the beginning sounds in words, you are training your child to listen to the sounds in words.
4. Magnetic Letters. Get some magnetic letters and a magnetic board and let your child arrange the letters any way he wants. Children love playing with magnets and playing with the letters will familiarize him to the various letters and its shape.
5. Make a Book. Staple some paper together and let your child scribble and draw in it. Once he’s finished you can ‘read’ it to him by looking at each page and describe the lines and shapes that he’d drawn. Alternatively, you can encourage your child to tell a story or talk about something and you can scribe it. Then have him draw to illustrate it.
6. Match the Letters. This game encourages your child to distinguish between letters. Start with 3 different letters such as a, h and w. Have two sets of each and place them on the table. Pick up a letter and ask your child where its twin is. Continue in this way as you change letters and then increase the number of letters that you play with.
7. Letter or Word Hunt. When you’re outside, play a game of word search by looking for regularly occurring words in the environment such as stop, give way and parking.
8. Play Dough Letters. Use play dough letter cutters to make letters or show your child how to roll the play dough into a long ‘snake’ and form letter shapes from it.
9. Play with Letter Puzzles. Wooden letter shaped puzzles with pegs attached to them are the best to use. Putting the correct letters in their place will familiarize your child with the shapes of the letters.
10. Read Books. Read books every day. By reading books to your child, she will grow to love books. Make the books available to your child by placing her favourites mixed in with some new books on the shelf. You will find that she will revisit her favourites and read it by looking at the pictures again and again.
11. Read Rhyming Books. Reading rhyming books (like the Dr Seuss books) to your child allows him to listen to and distinguish between similar sounding words.
12. Sing Nursery Rhymes. Nursery rhymes are great for introducing your child to similar sounding words. Sing a variety of different rhymes.
13. Sing the Alphabet song. Singing this everyday will familiarize your child to the letter names and the order in which they come.
14. Stamp Letters. Provide your child with letter stamps and let him stamp away!
15. Sticker Letters. Provide your child with letter stickers, available from the scrapbooking sections of a craft store, and let her stick them on a piece of paper to make a letter collage. Later, you can look at it and make comments such as, “Can you see another one of this letter?” or “Let’s count how many of this letter you’ve used.”
If you’re interested in teaching your child to read then keep a lookout for my book ‘First Steps in Teaching Your Child to Read’ which is soon to be released. In it you will find my system for teaching prekinders to read before they enter school. I have taught my own children the same way.
To learn more about this, click and read ‘3 Mistakes Parents Make When Preparing Their Child for Reading’ to avoid these 3 big mistakes and then subscribe. When you do, you'll be receiving a free set of alphabet flashcards to help you prepare and support your child's reading development.
In the meantime, to learn more about helping your child to read:
Click here ‘7 Ways to Prepare Your Childfor Reading’ for ways that you, as a parent, can do to help prepare your child for reading. Click the link.
Click here ‘Fun Ways to Prepare Your Childfor Early Reading’. This is how children prepare to learn to read and what you and your child can do to help in that process.