Like a light bulb suddenly turning on, your PreK child has awakened to a universe of PreK reading including letters, words, and ideas. You can help that light shine brighter and longer with a specific PreK reading plan. It does make a difference: children who partake in early literacy activities have more confidence than children whose PreK reading is not supported. Increased confidence will enable him to socialize better with adults and other children. Get our tips below to encourage reading and brighten your child’s future successes!
1. Read at least 20-30 minutes to your child every day. Reading to your child every day will help her have a longer attention span and better listening skills. It complements what she’s learning in kindergarten, which is typically focused on listening and attention. If she is able to sit and listen for longer periods as a reader, she will have the skills necessary to sustain her own reading for longer periods of time, which is imperative during the elementary school years.
2. Read a variety of non-fiction. By reading every day to your child about a variety of subjects, you’re helping him expand his knowledge. Your child should arrive in kindergarten already supplied with a few worldly insights, such as where the cow lives, what time of day the moon comes out, and what caterpillars become.
3. Read it all. When you’re at the grocery store with your PreK reader, explain why you pay money for the food, point out words on magazine covers, and discuss what you are buying and how it turns into lunch. Ideas live everywhere you and your child go, and actively engaging in conversation about them will expose your child to more information about the world. Think of all of the amazing stories and accurate observations your child has within him — giving him the exposure to a variety of concepts through reading will really enhance her insight, and certainly make for an interesting talking partner!
4. Act out dramatic plays. After reading your child’s favorite fairy tale, get into character and act out the story together. Dramatic play is a fun way to help your child internalize great stories, and inspire him to retell it to his new friends next year. Encourage him to put his own wacky spin on the stories to help him build imagination.
5. Use rich vocabulary. PreK Reading should include a focus on words. Using rich language enables children to better express themselves. You can help your reader by deliberately using a wide variety of words when you have conversations with him. Explain that the sunflower is not just “big," it’s “gigantic”. Tell him he didn’t just do a “good” job putting his toys away — he did a “marvelous” job cleaning up.
6. Point out letters. PreK reading has a direct relationship with kindergarten writing. When your child notices specific letters, she will have a better chance of being able to write these letters, and later combine them into written words. You can help your child by choosing a letter each day with her, and making a game of finding this letter in as many places as possible.