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
In this story, Rabbit and Owl have a problem. Let’s find out what the problem is and if they are able to solve it.
Children enjoy talking about what they have read. It is a good way to engage them in conversation and for them to remember the story they have read. Ask your child questions before, during, and after reading. The ability to retell a story is an important skill to learn before going to school.
–Tip by Erin E., Youth Programming Coordinator
One way to build vocabulary is to introduce new words prior to reading a book with those words. It can be as simple as saying the word and explaining what it means before opening the book. This is a great way to increase your child’s vocabulary since children are more likely to remember certain words if they are used, heard, and spoken more than once. Before reading this book, talk about the title and what the word “extraordinary” means.
–Tip by Amy S., Youth Programming Assistant
You can practice print awareness anywhere, even if you don’t have a book. Name the letters and the sounds on stop signs or billboards you see while driving, food labels at the grocery store, and other print you run across throughout the day. Even though children may not be able to recognize the letters or words yet, they are still learning to recognize the shape or symbol. This will help them to understand that print has meaning and that it is all around us.
–Tip by Claire Bartlett, Youth Outreach Coordinator
Making learning about the alphabet fun. Play this fun alphabet game with your child. Find a shoe box, mark it with a letter of the alphabet, and search with your child to find objects that begin with that letter to put inside the box.
–Tip by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head