March Theme: Getting Ready for Reading

Ready for Reading – Put your feet up and enjoy a book.

One of the major ways that children learn is through watching others. They copy sounds, words and behaviours from us. Children who see adults and older children taking pleasure in reading and experiencing books will follow their example. We often emphasise the importance of reading to our children, but the value of having our children watch us enjoy books is often missed. By watching you, your child will learn how books work. As she watches you run your finger under the text, she will realise that the words on the page have meaning, and that we look at them from left to right.  He will learn respect for books and see them as a valuable part of the adult world. This week, take some time out to enjoy a good book or magazine. Five minutes reading on the lounge while your preschooler is playing nearby can have a lasting impact on her love for books.

Ready for Reading – Whose Name?

Preschoolers need to know a lot about speech sounds and sounds in words before they are ready to read. Even though they may not be interested in letters or print, they are working hard to lay the foundations for future literacy. One way to help them take interest in print is to have fun with labels. Make some name cards for each member of the family, including visitors, grandparents and pets. Here are a couple of ideas for using the name cards to try at home. 1. Before a meal, place each card at the person’s seat around the table. 2. Use photos or drawings, and get your child to match the picture to the person’s name. 3. Muddle the cards together and let them work out what each card says before giving it to the person. 4. Have a go at ‘Celebrity Heads’, describing the person and having your preschooler match the name card. 5. Talk about the names – what shape is the word, what sound does the word start with, where is the capital letter, are there tops or tails (parts of the letters above or below the line)? Whose name will your child learn to recognise this week?

Ready for Reading – Fun with labels

Continuing on with our theme of getting our Little Ones interested in reading, let’s have some fun with labels. Make two sets of cards for different items around the house. It’s best to keep your labels in lower case print. First, stick the labels on each item, then give the matching cards to your child. Go on a ‘treasure hunt’ to match the cards in their hand to the cards on the objects. When this becomes easy, take the labels down and muddle them up. Help your child to read them and stick them back in the right places. You could also leave surprise labels in her lunchbox, labeling the fruit, snacks and sandwiches. Imagine his self confidence grow when he can show their friends and teacher a word that he can ‘read’. Don’t forget to talk about the words – what sounds can your child hear in the word, can she think of another word that starts with the same sound. Remember to talk about sounds rather than focusing on letters. This is super important for preparing them to think about phonics. Have fun with the labels. What crazy item will your child be labelling this week?

Ready for Reading – Great Games

This week we’ve got a couple more ideas for helping your Little One take a step closer to reading. 1. Post Boxes – make two post boxes out of old cereal boxes, cutting a slot to post letters. Write a letter on a sticky note and attach it to the front of the box. Put a different letter onto the front of the second box. On some old envelopes, write some simple words which begin with the same letters as those on the boxes. Help your child to check each envelope and post it into the box with the matching letter. 2. Letter Skittles – Use some empty plastic bottles or skittles. Put a different letter on each skittle. Take turns throwing the ball. Name the letter that has been knocked down and emphasise the sound it makes. Ask your child to think of a word beginning with the same sound. 3. I Spy – Remember to use sounds rather than letter names. 4. Action! Write down some action words on cards such as ‘hopping’, ‘tickling’, ‘jumping’. Read them with your child and do the action together. You can play with the whole family, adding name cards to the action cards. Before long your child will be reading and giggling seeing “mummy tickling Eva”!

Written by Alison,

Principal Speech Pathologist

Newcastle Speech Pathology