“Babies are born with the instinct to speak, the way spiders are born with the instinct to spin webs. You don’t need to train babies to speak; they just do. But reading is different.”
— Steven Pinker
As a mummy who teaches here are some of my tips to assist you when your child is learning to read. I am not an expert but here are a few things that have worked for me.
1. Read to your toddlers early and often. Songs and nursery rhymes are a great way to attract children’s interest. Make it fun and get children involved in the plot and characters. Role play can be a great way to get them involved. Twinkl have some brilliant resources to support this type of activity.
2. Introduce children to a range of books e.g. cloth books, colourful books, pop-up books, picture books and other kinds where they can explore the story through a variety of media (audiobooks or iBooks or apps)
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
3. Model reading for your children. Let them see you read on a regular basis. Discuss the books you read. If you read newspapers or magazines share suitable content with them.
4. Build reading into the bedtime routine. This habit will last for a lifetime if you invest in it during the early years.
5. Make reading part of play time e.g. build a reading den, use torches to read in the dark or write signs for the pretend shop/ restaurant/vets etc.
6. Go to the library, make getting a book a family trip out. It’s free and often libraries have excellent free activities on. My local library has a rhyme time and a bedtime reading session once a month.
7. Create a reading book. Make them a book about themselves. Use pictures of your child accompanied with simple sentences describing what they are doing e.g Robert is playing with his teddy. The book creator app makes this easy to do and children adore reading about themselves or people they know. My older children still enjoy looking at these special books.
8. Use their drawings as a stimulus. Get the child to tell you what they have drawn, write it down and attach the words to the drawing. Then read it together.
9. Draw their attention to print in the environment e.g. Put an alphabet in their bedroom and make an effort to sound out the letter sounds as well as teaching them the letter names. Teach them to recognise the letters in their name. Point out shop names and other signs.
10. As children move into primary school, encourage them write their own short stories, mark making is all art of the learning process.
My biggest and most important tip make it pressure-free and fun!! If you immerse children in the world of print early, they will enjoy the power and pleasure of the written word for a long time to come.
See my other posts in the Noisy Literacy section in my archive.