Preschool age children are sponges. Even before very young children can actually read, they are more than capable of acquiring the base-skills that will allow them become avid readers. We know for a fact that toddlers are aware of print and can associate shapes with the sounds of letters. Research has shown literacy begins to develop at birth, that early exposure to print can positively impact vocabulary and reading comprehension. Moreover, reading ability in early childhood has been demonstrated to be a reliable predictor of literacy skills as far out as 11th grade. In other words, preschool educators can play an active role when it comes to promoting literacy and preparing children in daycare for kindergarten. Now, that’s always true, but it should be especially true during National Literacy Month.
Even your youngest children can participate in National Literacy Month. Each child’s journey down the road to becoming an active avid reader will happen at its own pace. But, just as preschool educators must play our part, you can help foster literacy skills by introducing reading oriented activities into your home tailored to your child’s current interests-and chances are, you already engage in one or more of these activities with your child.
Celebrating National Literacy Month with Preschool Aged Children
- Commit to setting aside at least 15 minutes a day to read to your preschool age child
- Be a role model for your kids, make sure they see you reading books or even magazines
- Prompt your child to pick out the books you’ll be reading together and ask about their choices
- Encourage your child to handle books, browse through their illustrations and turn their pages
- Remember to ask them questions about the book’s plot to help them develop comprehension
- Read your kids the same books repetitively. Young children will get a kick out of their growing and they delight in being able to “read” along when a book becomes familiar to them
- Be sure that your reading time is fun and relaxed time by eliminating any distractions-including your phone
Here at Small Miracles Preschools we’ve accepted the research and come to the conclusion that the kinds of activities outlined above are essential elements of a successful early childhood curriculum. We’re going to be asking all of our current parents and all of our future parents to commit to spending at least 15 minutes a day on literacy focused activities with their kids. We know that even the youngest children can be set on the road to becoming an avid reader, so let’s celebrate September as National Literacy Month then dedicate ourselves to building these crucial reading skills well beyond September 30th.