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Encouraging Pre-Readers: Advice for Parents

Hand out this list of activities to help parents raise children ready to read.
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Brought to you by the National Education Association

Recent reading research proves there are simple things you can do to prepare your child for reading success. Children need a foundation for reading. You can build that foundation. Your child needs to:

  • Learn the alphabet.
  • Understand that letters and words mean something.
  • Build a listening and speaking vocabulary.
  • Have many different experiences to relate to new words and ideas.
  • Connect drawing and writing to reading.

Here are several easy and fun activities you can do to help your child get ready to read.

  • Stick labels on objects in your home, such as the table or a toothbrush. Collect the labels and have your child put them back on the correct items.

  • Teach your child nursery rhymes and songs. Recite and sing them together often.

  • Play with words. Separate the sounds in a word (i.e. "mud" has three different sounds). Note how some words begin with the same sound (i.e. "dog" and "dark") or rhyme (i.e. "tea" and "me").

  • Make up silly sounds and funny chants. Dr. Seuss books are great for playing with language and sparking the imagination.

  • Look for letters of the alphabet everywhere you go.

Visit NEA's website to learn more activities you can use to raise a successful reader.

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