You can use books to help expand your child’s vocabulary. Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood has many descriptive words that your child may not have heard before. You can help your child understand the meaning by looking at the pictures as well as the word’s opposite. You don’t need to stop to explain all of the words, but you may discuss a few of them as you read by giving examples of similar words or studying the pictures for clues about the word’s meaning.
–Tip by Erin E., Youth Programming Coordinator
To help your child develop the early literacy skill of print awareness, try playing this fun “I Spy” game using I Spy on the Farm by Edward Gibbs. Trace the word in bold with your finger and ask children what color they see. This will help your child associate the color with its written word.
–Tip by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head
Phonological awareness involves being able to break words down into parts. In Wiggle Waggle by Jonathan London, you’ll have fun with onomatopoeia—the name for words (many times silly ones) that sound like what they describe—like CLOMP or BOING! You may stretch the sounds in some of these words, or say them quickly!
–Tip by Amy S., Youth Programming Assistant
Getting kids excited about books and reading is the focus of the early literacy skill called print motivation. With the fun flaps featured in Opposnakes by Salina Yoon, children can guess the opposites while having fun opening the flaps. Don’t forget to read it again and again as children love repetition, and they will learn the storyline and “read” it back to YOU!
–Tip by Carol C., Elementary School Liaison
Young children learn through their senses, and they learn best by doing. When children are learning to read, it is helpful to recognize letters and be able to tell the difference between them. Younger children will start by learning the difference between shapes. One way to help children do this is by moving their arms and bodies into shapes and letters. While doing this, you can also talk about the differences between shapes, or sounds, in the case of letters.
–Tip by Claire B., Youth Outreach Coordinator