What’s the best way to get your child ready to read before kindergarten? What does it mean for a child to be ready to read? Librarians all across the nation use Every Child Ready to Read® during storytime and parents can use it too! It can be a useful guide for finding activities to do at home that get kids ready to read.
Reading readiness can be all kinds of things from knowing what a book is to knowing letter names and sounds. It includes things like having a rich vocabulary, liking books and being read to, as well as being able to tell a story and playing with words and sounds. Reading readiness also includes having little hands ready to hold books through fine motor skills!
Every Child Ready to Read teaches parents five things they can practice at home. How many of these do you practice with your child?
1. Talking with your child about everyday things. Asking them about their day can help them understand how language works and can help build up their vocabulary.
2. Singing songs and doing rhymes with your child. Making musical sounds allows your child to start hearing the small differences in words, therefore this is really important when they start sounding out words for reading.
3. Reading to your child every day. If they associate reading with something fun and positive, they’ll be less likely to get frustrated if reading is hard for them. Spending time with your little one and a book is one of the best things you can do to help them read on their own.
4. Writing down words. Your child gets to exercise their hand muscles and work on their fine motor skills. Coloring or doodling also gives them a chance to practice and helps them understand that words stand for sounds.
5. Playing games. A child’s natural way to learn and grow is playful. Children can learn more words and develop storylines in their heads when they have room to be creative.
Librarians use these five practices in their story times and you can use them too! With a little bit of practice, your child will be ready to read when the time comes.
Build Your Child’s Brighter Future!
Want to dive deeper into helping your little one build language skills? Check out our Play and Learning guidance about English and language arts for:
- Babies — From baby talk to body talk, babies learn so many word skills in their first year.
- One-year-olds — Chatter, scribbles and tons of books lay a foundation for lifelong language skills!
- Two-year-olds — So much to say, so little time! Toddler’s communication skills increase at lightning speed.
- Three-year-olds — New phrases, new words, new solo “reading” — at three, little ones find new ways to play with language every day!
- Pre-K learners — Getting ready for school success means that pre-K is a year of huge language growth.