Reading Readiness – Preparing Your Child to Read

father reading to daughter

One of the most important things you can do for your child is to encourage and prepare him to read. Reading is one of life’s most important skills. Being able to read well will give your child an advantage in school and in life. Moms and dads can do a lot to prepare their children to read. The best thing parents can do to help their children read is to read out loud to them. What are some other ideas to help prepare your child for reading?

Pre-Reading Activities for Babies

Talk to your baby. Whenever you do something with your baby, tell him what you are doing. Talk to your baby a lot. Talking to your baby helps improve their language skills.

Play games like peek-a-boo, so big, and pat-a-cake with your little one. Playing games with your child not only helps them to learn but the games are also fun too.

mom reading board book to baby

Read books to your baby. Start reading books to your baby early. You can start reading to your children at any age. It is never too early. Use board books, books with different textures, or books with lots of pictures. Point to the pictures in the book and describe the pictures. Encourage your baby to feel the different textures in the book and to point to the pictures in the book.

Pre-Reading Activities for Toddlers

Teach your child the alphabet song. Have fun singing the ABC song as they learn their ABCs.

Read books to your toddler. Read alphabet books, counting books, books with different colors, storybooks, or any book that they like. Read a variety of books to your toddler. Try to read to them several times a day.

Show your child his name in print. You can make a sign for their room or cards for friends and family with his name on it. Start showing him his name in print.

Watch educational shows like Sesame Street and Between the Lions together. Talk about the show after it ends or play games related to the show.

Pre-Reading Activities for Preschoolers

Play rhyming games with your preschooler. You can make up silly poems and have your child come up with the word that rhymes. Try giving them a list of three words and picking out the two that rhyme.

Take your child on trips to the library. Encourage them to pick out books they like. A library is an exciting place for a child. Let them have fun and learn how to use the library. Continue reading to them every day. Try to read for thirty minutes a day.

When you read to your preschooler, ask questions throughout the story. See if he can figure out what will happen next. Point to the words as you read the story so that he will start to understand how print works.

Make your own books. Using construction paper, you can make your own books. Have your child make up his own story with pictures. Have him tell you the story as he flips the pages of his book.

child pointing at words

Start introducing him to different letters. Show him the letter and tell him what sound it makes. See if he can find other words that make the same sound. Use magazines and books to see if he can spot the letter on the page. If you are driving, see if he can find the letter on billboards.

Other Things Parents Can Do to Help Their Child Read

Read yourself. When you go to the library, pick out books for yourself. Have a family reading time where everyone reads. Children often want to do what mom or dad is doing. What better example than reading yourself?

Have family time once or twice a week. Play games together, go to the park, or make crafts together. Make time for your family to have fun together learning.