What a lot of parents don’t know is that pre-reading instruction is about a child being able to hear sounds in words. You can really get your child ready at home without much work.
Many of these pre–reading activities can be done at home, in the car, at the grocery store, or wherever you are. And your child won’t even know they are learning. Sending your child to preschool or kindergarten with these skills will provide the foundation they need to start reading.
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Try some or all of these pre-reading activities today!
1. The very best activity to get your child ready to read is to read to them. And as you read, point to the words, talk about the pictures, and engage your child in the text by asking questions. Look for sets of books that have easy familiar text your children will begin to recognize. There are many, but these are my absolute favorite. More information on how I use these books below.
2. Teach your child to read the pictures. Tell them that the pictures add meaning to the story and we can use the pictures to figure out what the story is about. Spend time reading the pictures together so they learn how to do this.
3. Sing songs and do finger plays
4. Rhyme words as much as possible
5. Play phonemic awareness games. Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear sounds, pull the sounds apart and put them back together. It’s basically everything you can do with words with your eyes closed. Some ideas are, saying a word and having your child tell you the first, middle, or ending sound. You can say the word and ask them to say all the sounds. Say the sounds and have your child tell you the word. The idea is to get your child to begin to hear that words have separate sounds. This is the first step in being able to sound out words in text.
6. Practice the alphabet song, the sooner your child knows the names of the letters, the sooner your child will be able to put the letter to the name.
7. Look for familiar signs and graphics and have your child read them.
8. Talk about your day in sequence. This is a perfect dinner time activity. Use transition words like first, next, last. Create a placemat at the table that your child can draw pictures in for each section of your day. My kids often do this activity while I make dinner and then once we are all seated, we can talk through what they drew.
9. Play with letters, use play dough, make cookies, magnetic letters, trace letters, make letters in salt, make letters with pipe cleaners, use letter stamps, or anything else you come up with.
10. Read repetitive text or easy patterned books together, have them fill in the blanks of repetitive text or patterned text when they become familiar.
My kids very favorite books are Scholastic Early Science readers and I use these in my classroom regularly as well. I highly recommend them. You can find them here on Amazon for a small investment. Look through the different sets to match your child’s interest as well as level. A is the easiest and slowing increases in difficulty as the letters move forward. Even your youngest readers will start to understand the pattern and begin to feel like readers. (Which is the first step to reading!)
11. Go to the library a lot. The more fun literature you have available, the sooner your child will start to read.
12. Let them see you reading. Lead by example and show. Your child that you read for pleasure and purpose.