Tips for making the reading process easy and enjoyable!
- Read aloud! Hearing sounds are important, especially for infants and young children. Reading aloud gives life to the story and the characters and makes it fun! As your children listen and see what you’re reading, they are in fact, in the early stages of learning to read. They are always absorbing.
A great way to start teaching letters is by having ABC songs, or other educational and fun music playing in the background when your child’s playing.
- There are many online links where you can find great deals on educational music. Here are some, just to name a few: www.kidscds.org, letterland.com, havefunteaching.com
ABC flashcards can work wonders!
- For parents practicing potty training, this is a GREAT time for showing flashcards and reading stories. If your child enjoys this activity, he or she will most likely learn that both reading AND potty equals fun time, taking away the common potty time blues!
- This method also works in the high chair at meal or snack time! ( You can purchase a set of alphabet flashcards almost anywhere they sell baby toys, both in stores and online. For young babies & toddlers, very large and colorful is always best.)
- You can also start out writing a small number of words on white flashcards (red ink works best) such as: mommy, daddy, bottle, banana, apple, bread; any words that are used often and are familiar to your child. Pick up the word/flashcard and point to what you’re talking about. Repeat this once every day and you’ll be amazed that they’ll start to recognize and understand the word. (Always use a happy and positive tone of voice!)
ABC “choo choo” train puzzles are colorful and are always a fun choice for young kiddies. Get the spongy, chewable kind for a real treat! (Cleaning and wiping these down will be easy.)
Little kids LOVE energy and excitement! Whenever teaching letters or reading to your kids, please try to remember that this should be a fun time that your toddler looks forward to.
Flashcards shouldn’t last for more than a few minutes at a time, (go for too long and your child will quickly lose interest and see this as a chore and not as a fun activity) and when saying each letter, a positive tone of voice should be used.
If your child sees that YOU are excited about learning and reading, chances are that they will be too!
It’s also good to keep in mind that if you’re child isn’t showing much interest in reading at a young age, please don’t stress out about it; we all learn at a different pace!
Elizabeth Alexander is the Founder of Reading in Preschool, a NYC private tutoring company for young readers.
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