Effective early literacy allows children to begin developing skills in reading, writing & language.
I’ve worked in education for 10+ years. The one thing that saddens me the most is to hear a child say that they hate to read. Fostering a love for reading begins at an early age, when their brains are little sponges.
The key to teaching kids to love to read is to make literacy fun.
Read To Your Child Consistently
Reading doesn’t have to always be a structured bedtime routine. You can purchase bath books and read during bath time, you can read in the doctor’s office while waiting to be seen, or outside at the park.
It doesn’t matter where or when you read, just do it!
Reading to your children encourages a desire to be read to and gives them a curiosity of words and letters. You may even notice your child asking you, “What’s that word?” more often.
Turn a Story Into a Song
We are a musical family and I love using an opportunity to sing to my children. Many of the rhyming or repetitive books allow me to be creative when I’m reading.
In fact, many well-known stories have been turned into nursery rhymes. I use this to my advantage.
Now that my children are a little older, they sometimes decline my singing and want me to stick to the story. Either way, I am happy that they are developing a love for literacy.
This may seem silly, but you are actually teaching your children phonological awareness—a skill they will be tested on in kindergarten.
Get Your Child Involved In the Story
I See Me Books books do this for you! My daughter loves the story that has her name & favorite color on every page. Her kingdom name is our hometown! This book also includes her skin tone, hair color & birth date throughout the story. She points to her picture and her name and tries to read parts of the story herself.
It’s so exciting to see her engage with me while I tell the story. This is a book I know she’ll treasure forever.
Right now my girls love animals & princesses. In fact, they love dressing up in princess gear. They are always more interested (and invested) in sitting still and listening to a book that piques their interest.
If your little one is a busy body & doesn’t sit still long, try finding books that will naturally keep their attention by centering stories around their interests.
Let Them Help You Pick Out Books
When your toddlers go to kindergarten, they will be expected to go the library and pick out their own books. The more you practice at home, the more prepared they will be.
My daughter loves to read her Princess: The Day in the Life of a Princess book. It brings her fairy tale dreams to life. Everyone enjoys feeling special, and having her own customized book does just that.