5 Early Literacy Practices: READ

15 Mar

ecrrMy nephew is about five months old and I am forever receiving text and photos of him from my brother and sister-in-law telling me how much he enjoys being read aloud to!  Babies, toddlers, and kids of all ages will connect reading with snuggles, love, hugs and kisses when parents/caregivers make reading a special time they share together.  One of my best friend’s daughter at age 2, 3, and 4 will sit still enraptured by books for as long as she can get mom or dad to read to her.  Kids are not inherently born to dislike reading – some may be moving around too much to care, but persistence will win! I have another friend whose son could have cared less about being read to as a baby, but he’s three now and absolutely LOVES it!

If you encourage reading from a very young age children will see the value of it and enjoy doing it as they get older.  There are tons of great picture books out there and there are some that are not so good too!  But, that’s one of the best parts of visiting a library, when you find a favorite book that you borrowed, you can then spend the money to buy the book for your home library.

By reading aloud, kids begin to understand how a book works, which way you open it, the parts of  the book and even how the text works.  Without knowing these important pieces, children would find learning how to read much more difficult.  Children also learn amazing vocabulary words from books.  You’ll find much more advanced words in picture books than you would normally use in conversation making picture book reading an important tool for a child’s vocabulary.

I was reading aloud to my friend’s daughter one day, Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? and was just doing what I normally do in storytime – asking questions about the story and her daughter was answering all of them – what sound does this animal make?  what color is that animal?  And afterward, my friend looked at me and said, “I didn’t know she knew so much!”  Her daughter had heard this story before so she knew it very well and was able to answer my questions about what was happening.  Storytime is very similar  – it models to parents how to read aloud, questions that you can ask your child to answer, ways to extend the reading of the book, which is why, again, libraries are such an integral part of a child’s growth.

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