Kids Safety Network

6 Ways to Encourage a Love of Literacy

Literacy: Preparing Kids to Read For Life

Some children love to read from the womb and others? Not as much. But an early start and literature-rich environment from the get-go can help children not only read with ease but also, learn to love literacy. According to the National Center for Education Statistics,  in a study done in 1999,”Only 53 percent of children ages three to five were read to daily by a family member.”

If you’re not reading to your preschoolers each day, you are missing an opportunity to build a better reader.  Not only will your child become a better reader if you read more frequently with him or her but, the NCES determined in 2000 that if a child is read to frequently, a child will be more likely to: “count to 20, write his or her own name, and read or pretend to read rather than if the child is not read to frequently. ”

So in other words, if you’re not reading to your child daily, you’re doing him or her a disservice from the get-go. But how can you create a literature/literacy-rich environment to help your child learn to love reading and words? Here are some great tips to get your child on the right foot:

Tips to Build A Love of Literacy:

1. Singing

Who doesn’t love music? Using music and singing songs with your children in their daily lives will help them build literacy skills! Songs naturally have rhyming and other sound patterns that engage children and with just a simple melody are already building a literacy-rich environment for your child.

2. Labels

Labeling furniture and/ or other items in the home will help children learn the names of multiple objects, encourages letter identification, and gives them new words to build their vocabulary.

3. Directionality

In English we read from left to right so as you’re reading to your child, have your finger follow the directions of the words so your child learns to track from left to right visually.

4. Journaling

Even if your child is as young as two, give him or her access to his or her own little journal that can be written in with crayon. Encouraging your child to print and draw his or her own stories and words, even if the “words” look like mush will encourage a love of literacy  and build fine motor skills!

5.  Make It Fun

For toddlers and children who need to move or want to be outdoors, why not make it a sensory experience?

Make letters outdoors (or indoors) with:

6. Listen

Stories on CD in the car or house also encourage a love of literacy right in the home.

No matter what you do, make it fun, be silly and make reading time a priority in your children’s every day lives. You’re bound to see a difference no matter how naturally reading comes (or doesn’t come), to your child.


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