Once a child learns the sounds and letters of the alphabet, he or she will start trying to sound out words. It is important to encourage this curiosity and enthusiasm. Just reading with your child for 20 minutes per night will expose children to a variety of words and a love of books. In fact, the amount of reading that a child experiences at home is positively correlated with their reading level.
But there are other ways to encourage your new reader. Here are some fun suggestions below:
- Label away. You and your child can pick out some brightly-coloured sticky-notes and go around the room, labeling furniture. It’s a fun way to incorporate words into everyday life and it brightens up the room!
- Foods for thought. Food is a great incentive to read! When you go to the grocery store, ask your child to read the names and food labels on their favourite foods. If you go out for dinner or lunch, ask your child to find words that he or she knows on the menu. All of this exposure will help your child recognize letters and words. It will also emphasize the importance of reading.
- Car trip literacy. Whether you’re going on a short car ride to the store or a long road trip, the roads are littered with signs. Point out different signs on the highway, or ask your child to help navigate the trip by pointing out exits and town names.
Little steps make a big difference. So go ahead and have fun with reading!