Research shows that children get ready to read years before they start school, even from birth. The development of early literacy skills through early experiences with language, books, and stories is critically linked to a child’s success in learning to read.
Parents and caregivers are important in helping their children get ready to read because:
- Children learn best when they are in a good mood, and you know their moods best
- You can help your children learn reading skills in ways that are easiest for them
- Children learn best by doing things—and they love doing things with you
Before your child even learns to read, you can foster early literacy skills by providing an atmosphere that’s fun, verbal, and stimulating. When you read, talk, sing, and play with your child, you’re stimulating the growth of your child’s brain and building the connections that become the building blocks for reading.
How can you help your child on their early literacy journey to get ready to read?
The Public Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children suggest five ways to get every child ready to read:
- Read: Reading together is the single most important way to help children get ready to read. You’re never too old to enjoy listening to a good book.
- Talk: Talking with children is one of the best ways to help them learn new words and information. It also keeps families more connected.
- Sing: Songs are a natural way for children to learn about and play with language. No worries if your voice is not rock star perfect – if you can talk, you can sing! Your child’s favorite voice is yours.
- Write: Writing and reading go together and help children learn that written words stand for spoken language. Scribbling and drawing are forms of writing too and have meaning to your child.
- Play: Playing is one of the primary ways young children learn about how the world works. It also helps them learn language and think symbolically – “this box is a rocket ship”.
Reach out to staff in the Kids’ Library to find age appropriate materials with our Media Match, Jr. service. We’re happy to help!