Having your child repeat and talk about new words is a great way to internalize them and make them more likely to be remembered. As you read Where Is Green Sheep?, sing one sentence and ask your child to sing it back to you!
Notes from Story Time
This book talks about how to draw a dragon. Have your child try to draw a dragon as he/she listens to each step. Children learn to draw before they learn to write words, so practicing drawing is a great way to prepare for learning how to write.
Using puppets to talk or sing is a great way to encourage creativity and imagination. Take a favorite book (such as Elephants Cannot Dance) or favorite song and set it up with puppets to recreate favorite character, plot, or melodies.
Digital literacy is the ability to understand, evaluate, and use information when it is presented by a computer, tablet, or other digital media. With so much technology present in our daily lives, we want to provide information to help navigate the world of technology with your child. Screens should be turned off at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Exposure to the bright light of a screen can increase alertness. Bright light at night can also disrupt the body’s naturally occurring circadian (or daily) rhythms by suppressing the release of the hormone melatonin, which is important for maintaining and regulating our sleep-wake cycle.
Play is critical for the development of imagination and creative problem-solving skills. Children love to climb, run, and jump. Getting outside in the summer gives kids the opportunity to use their large motor skills and their imaginations.The children in One Hot Summer Day by Nina Crews participate in many examples of outdoor play. Use these adventurous characters as inspiration to get outdoors this summer and have some fun.
Helping your child understand that words have a rhythm and can be broken down into syllables will help your child later when he/she is sounding out words while learning to read. As you read Roadwork by Sally Sutton with your child, clap along to the sound words such as “Ping! Bang! Tap!”
Children need to develop fine motor skills in their fingers in order to control a pencil or crayon to draw or write. Teach your child a few words in American Sign Language using the book So Many Feelings. This is a way for children to communicate with their hands. Not only will this help children practice fine motor control, but it gives them another way to express themselves.
Reading and writing go together. Writing helps children learn that letters and words stand for sounds and that print has meaning. One simple way you can show this to children is to occasionally point to the words as you read to them. Take opportunities to write down what children say as they tell it to you. Then you can read it back to them. This activity helps children can learn the connection between the written and the spoken word. It is also very motivating for them to tell their own stories.
Talking with your child helps them acquire language skills, like vocabulary, narrative skills, and phonological awareness, that will help them understand what they later read. After you read Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner, talk to your child about the different types of insects using the questions in the back of the book.
Remember, playing, talking, singing, reading, and writing are five simple practices to help your child on the path to reading. After reading aloud Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert, talk about the colors of the rainbow. Then ask your child to draw a rainbow. Learning how to hold a crayon correctly is one of the first steps in learning how to write. Afterwards, encourage your child to plant a make-believe garden full of the flowers found in the book.