Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will learn to do. So much depends on it, so as parents it is defiantly worth putting the time in early on. So what we need to do is open up opportunities to bring learning, and reading into everyday situations which I am sure you do already. We want your child to love reading and not find it a chore. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.
My girls love stories and not just at bedtime. We can often be found buried under a pile of books, or if we are on holiday, we have a new funky device called a Moonlite which clips onto your mobile and projects pictures on to the wall so you can take stories all over the world with you. You can read more about it HERE.
How can you help your child read before they go to school?
What I would advise you to do before you start learning to read with your child, if to understand the basics of phonics. In most schools in the UK, this is the approach they take so to help you to understand it better, I have written an ultimate phonics guide for parents because reading is taught through phonics. Phonics is a method of teaching children to read by linking sounds(phonemes) and the symbols that represent them(graphemes, or letter groups). I explain all the terminology in my ‘Ultimate Phonics Guide for Parents‘.
Children start by learning the letters and the sounds they make, and how to put them together to make and read simple words. Then they learn how letters combine to make new sounds (such as SH), and move on to longer words and new reading skills.
Read aloud to your child
Read anything and everything. Submerge them in words and vocabulary. Learn from an early age to enjoy reading, it will most likely hinder their ability sometime down the road if you don’t.
Read books, fiction and non fiction, magazines, papers, cartoons, research facts online.
Asking questions while reading to your child is not only great for encouraging your child to interact with the book, but it is also extremely effective in developing his ability to comprehend what they are reading. If a child can’t understand what they are reading, there really is no point to reading at all!
Keep it fun and play phonics games
From an early age children can play games with letters. I have 5 very simple fun toys, that will engage and inspire children to learn their sounds.
An engaging introduction to the alphabet! A fun and interactive activity set that will support a variety of early literacy skills such as alphabet awareness and letter recognition. The alphabet acorns teach alphabet awareness, upper and lower case recognition, phonics, colour recognition, sorting and matching.
Children complete the plastic acorns by matching the uppercase letters on the acorn body with the corresponding lowercase letters on the matching coloured lids. Open the acorns to discover a surprise – a colourful counter that corresponds to the acorn’s letter
A tasty take on the alphabet! Dipping your hand into the cookie jar becomes a learning experience with this adorable set. Each toy cookie forms the shape of a lowecase letter which will play an important role in teaching Consonant Vowel Consonant (CVC) word building. ABC Cookies is a colourful activity which includes picture based cards.
These sand moulds bring some learning fun to sand play with these durable plastic letters which engage your early learners with these brightly coloured lowercase alphabet sand mould. They are sturdy, fun plastic lowercase letter sand moulds are great for developing early spelling. Children press the sand moulds into the sand to spell their name or simple words which reinforces letter recognition from an early age. They are great for encouraging your children outside in the summer months and perfect activity to keep kids entertained during visits to the beach.
This treat-themed alphabet activity makes learning irresistible!
Stringing along these tasty 4.5 cm sweets builds your child’s fine motor skills and lets them create short words. Sweets feature upper- and lowercase letters. Includes two laces and 26 sweets.
Familiar game play to reinforce the alphabet! Bingo! This easy-to-play game is perfect for reinforcing what children have been learning during lessons – ideal for family fun!A double-sided bingo game provides two levels of play; Matching upper and lowercase letters and identification of initial letter sounds.
If you have found this useful and have a child starting school this year then you might like to read my following starting school articles;