By: Kelly Lopresti, Director of Child Development & Christopher J. Lopresti, Reading Specialist
Each year at the beginning of March, school children kick off National Reading Month by celebrating the birthday of the beloved Dr. Seuss. Teachers design contests, family literacy events, and even pajama and pillow days to provide cozy mornings of uninterrupted reading. With help from Read Across America, the goal is to motivate kids to read every day of the year.
What about the little ones? Some think young children can’t participate. With a little help, they can enjoy National Reading Month too.
Literacy skills begin to develop at birth. At the Lily Garden Child Care Center we know how important early reading can be to help a child’s later success with reading and writing.
Skills closely related to later success with reading and writing:
- Writing letters or one’s own name—the ability to write single letters in isolation, or write their own name
- Alphabet knowledge—the ability to name letters and the sounds they make
- Phonological awareness—the ability to hear and manipulate the sounds of spoken language (such as hear the beginning sound of a word)
- Rapid letter or number naming—the ability to quickly name letters or numbers
- Phonological memory—the ability to remember spoken information for a short period of time
- Rapid object or color naming—the ability to quickly name random series of colors or objects
One way to develop these skills, give the gift of reading aloud to your child.
There are several benefits of reading aloud to your children. From bonding with your children to helping them strengthen skills in writing, creativity, listening and more. According to Scholastic’s Kids and Family Reading Report, the frequency of children being read aloud to at home drops sharply after age 5. It drops even lower after age 8. Try these resources to keep your reading bond strong with your kids.
- The more you read aloud to your kids the more they will love reading.
- It builds their vocabularies.
- It develops background knowledge that they will need to understand the meaning of texts when they read on their own.
- It inspires a lifetime love of reading and is a great way to model making reading a part of their everyday lives.
- It’s one of the best ways to bond with your kids.
What you read aloud can vary day to day. Mix it up – short, long, funny, factual – it’s all good.
Literacy Coach Reading Tip: Please remember to read boldfaced headings and captions to your children in preparation for their academic careers. The information therein is often used as source material for higher order thinking questions and can be used to expand their knowledge.
- Chapter Books: Some read alouds go on for days and weeks because you may be reading a chapter a night of a longer novel or chapter book.
- Picture Books: You may want to share a favorite picture book. Pick a former favorite of your child’s and revisit it. They will love it just as much as they did when they were younger. Picture books are short 10-15 minutes. You can read picture books over and over again.
- Poetry: Reading a short poem in the morning (or whenever you have time) can be a great idea. Find poems that relate to the season or what’s happening in their daily life.
Try one of these poems and see if your children like it.
- Runny Babbit by Shel Silver Stein
- Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
- Falling Up by Shel Silverstein
- For Laughing Out Loud: Poems to Tickle Your Funnybone by Jack Pretlusky
- Read Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young by Jack Pretlusky and Marc Brown
Visit the below websites for a list of the top children’s book of 2016 and other resources.
- Association for Library Service to Children list of 2017 most notable books! http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/notalists/ncb
- Let your kids choose books they want to read! http://www.parents.com/fun/entertainment/books/
- Books to read to infants and toddlers! http://families.naeyc.org/learning-and-development/reading-writing/great-books-read-infants-and-toddlers
Lily Garden Teacher’s Top Picks
The Little Mouse and The Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood -The pictures are amazing. I also like that the big hungry bear is mentioned throughout the book but never pictured. It is left up to the child’s imagination to picture the bear. -Jenni Moses
How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long – It’s a story from a child’s perspective which the children can relate to. It’s a story about fun pirates! Every class I’ve worked with loves pirates and it’s something that holds their interest. Also, the author uses very descriptive words that really puts you in the story! -Katie Kwiatek
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crocket Johnson – Harold lets his imagination go through art and his drawing! -Julie DeSalvo
We are in a Book by Mo Williams – I love this book! Mo Williams is such a creative author and I recommend all his work. The characters come to life well if you have a crazy imagination like I do or enjoy doing voices. Piggie reminds me of myself, so doing voices for Piggie and elephant is very fun. -Melissa Gonzalez
Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberly – Toddlers love this book. The children like to point to whatever facial feature is on that page.
The Bunny Rabbit Show by Sandra Boynton – Toddlers love to sing along! -Christy Stringini
Naughty Little Monkeys by Jim Aylesworth -This book is about what happens when you leave twenty-six little monkeys home alone. It’s a funny and colorful book that children want to read over and over again. My son loved this book! -Kelly Lopresti
For more information about our inclusive daycare and our program philosophy visit: eastersealslilygarden.org.