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Before any child can even attempt to read, they need various basic skills which will stay with them throughout their reading career! Some of these skills come naturally through every day life. They hear and use words themselves, they have seen books and heard teachers or parents read from them, they have enjoyed the thrill or comedy of a good book etc. But there are also things you can do as a parent or carer to help your child come even close to that magical day when they pick up a book, and read it for themselves!
1. Read, read and then pick up another book and read!
- Reading to your children is the best way to get them interested.
- Use silly voices, choose exciting and a varied selection of books, act them out, dress up, find books with great illustrations and make reading fun!
- Read in bed, under a tree, in the car... wherever you can, but make it fun.
- If ever they are too tired, just accept it and do it another day.
2. Practice rhyming words.
- This a great way to introduce new words, and show children that words rhyme.
- Sing nursery rhymes together.
- When singing songs, stop and see if your child can finish the rhyme. Then change the words and see if they can think of a new word to rhyme?
- Play I Spy With My Little Eye but use rhyming words: try I Hear With My Little Ear Something That Rhymes With Tree... etc
3. Recognition and Matching.
- Matching letters with their sounds is a vital part of reading.
- To help, try playing some matching games Play Snap! and Pairs.
- Try playing Dominoes.
- Do some puzzles, and even try tricky ones together.
- Match socks when doing the washing and sort the cutlery into drawers when doing the washing up.
- Letters are vital when reading, so learning to be comfortable using letters and confident talking about them is vital.
- When you go out, stress the first letter as you get ready. So, put on your s-s-socks, j-j-jacket, g-g-gloves. As you walk down the road, see the h-h-house, and the c-c-car.
- Spot letters as you walk about round your home. Shop signs, traffic signs, road names etc.
- Sound out and using your fingers trace the letters on road names if you can reach.
5. Use words.
- Having chats about things you see and do is a great way to develop language.
- Try to use new words, describe things in an exciting way and encourage them to talk to other children about their experiences.