Helping a child learn to read seems like a daunting task, but it’s really not that mysterious. There are five simple activities you can do with your child that will help them develop the necessary skills.
- Talk. Ask your child open-ended questions. Encourage them to elaborate on their answers.
- Sing. Or recite nursery songs, poetry, made-up tunes, or conversations together. Singing often comes more naturally to children than talking. It may sound silly (or out-of-tune!), but it still helps your child become more at ease with verbal communication.
- Read. Read everything aloud to your child: picture books, yes, but also websites, signs, labels. If you can, run your finger under the words as you read them.
- Write. For a pre-reader, this usually means practicing the fine motor skills that will be needed later. Let your child draw and color, to practice moving a writing utensil. Have them trace shapes with their fingers. Also, let them watch you as you write, and possibly read your writing aloud to them.
- Play. It’s educational! Encourage play in which your child learns to solve problems, make a plan and execute it, and learn how to work with others.