Early Literacy Resources
One of my greatest passions in life is to help children learn to read and develop a love of books. Now that I am out of the classroom and online one way I do that is to help other parents support their own children’s learning. Digging to find activities, ideas for struggling readers ,and just the right book has never been easier. I have found incredible reading resources via Pinterest and want to share them with you. These 6 boards have consistently useful pins for all things early literacy. Check them out !
1.Reading & Writing Readiness by us … but really it’s a community board made up of great bloggers and wonderful reading and writing ideas.
Do you have a favorite board on Pinterest ? Leave a link in comments so we can check it out!
by Allison McDonald Learning to read is not a crash course that kids take and are done with once they can read Dick and Jane without any help. Learning to read is developmental and starts when a newborn looks at you and hears you talking to them. Below are 50 pieces to the reading puzzle . 50 ways that you and your child can have fun knowing that they are working on early literacy development and learning to love books. This is not definitive checklist it’s a buffet of options to help support your child as they develop literacy skills and become independent readers. Find ideas that work for your family with your child and their current development. Click through the linked items for more details and how to do the activity with your child.
- Read to your child.
- Play rhyming games.
- Sing the alphabet song with them.
- Label things with their names from an early age.
- Go to the library even when they are at that loud voice only stage.
- Have non fiction books as well as fiction available .
- Tell stories.
- Have books all over your house.
- Teach the letter sounds by emphasizing the sounds in words they hear often from a young age.
- Provide fun and interesting books for them to read.
- Get a magazine subscription and read it together.
- Make play dough letters.
- Play the alphabet game on road trips.
- Read the mail together.
- Make a reading nook.
- Clap out syllables.
- Make letter crafts.
- Make reading play time .
- Notice letters in the environment.
- Learn about how books work and other concepts of print.
- Let them choose their own books at the library or bookstore.
- Leave them notes in their lunchboxes .
- Play with foam letters in the bath. Use bath toys to make up and tell stories.
- Make your own books.
- Play eye spy with letters and letter sounds. ” I spy something that starts with the letter B. Buh buh book!”
- Give your children books as gifts.
- Make up silly songs together.
- Ask them to read the pictures to you before they can read the words.
- Play library.
- Read the book then see the movie for a family treat.
- Play with word families.
- Read books with no words and share storytelling duties.
- Let them see you reading for fun.
- Read nursery rhymes.
- Explore and trace tactile letters.
- Play listening games.
- Retell and have your children retell stories after reading them.
- Ask your child questions about elements of the story as you read with them. This works on comprehension.
- Read books at lunchtime .
- Take books with you when you travel.
- Build with letter blocks or make your own.
- Do word searches.
- Play sight word games.
- Download an e-reader app on your smartphone and instead of handing them it to play a game make it a treat to use it to read.
- Read comics and graphic novels with them.
- Talk your your kids using regular words not “kiddie” words.
- Read them poetry.
- Get their bodies moving to learn letters.
- Read them their favorite book over and over and over even if it’s making you want to poke your eyes out.
- Make reading part of their bedtime routine from day one.
No parent intentionally tries to discourage their child from reading. But sometimes our actions do just that. Kids may be resilient, but they are also really sensitive, and how we handle reading in our homes can work for or against our kids’ reading attitude. Once a child writes reading off, it’s much harder to reel them back in and get them to give it a second shot. Here are eight things to avoid .
1. Don’t put down your child’s reading materials. Comics and books with crude humor often get dragged through the mud, as do character-driven books. Their choices may not be your favorite, but when you say no to a book, what your child may hear is no to reading. Instead of banning their beloved reading material , find a way to add in some more desirable books into the mix.
2. Don’t provide the wrong level material. No one likes reading something that makes them feel stupid. If the books are too hard they will frustrate your child. If the books are too easy, they will bore your little reader. You don’t need to know your child’s exact level; their interest will let you know. Go to the bookstore or library when you have a chunk of time and let them explore. Take out a bunch of books and try them out. Find favorite authors and read everything they’ve written, then start again with a new author.
3. Don’t use reading as a punishment. Saying things like “Go to your bedroom and read!” or “If you do that again, I will make you go read.” sets kids up to associate reading as a negative thing. Keep punishments and reading separate.
4. Don’t forget to give your child books as a gifts. Gifts are special, and starting at birth books make the best gifts – especially if you read them with the person who gave them to you. Book fairs at schools are a great place for kids to get excited about books, and we use them as treats!
5. Don’t explain to your child they aren’t really reading yet when they are only looking at the pictures. If we tell our children they aren’t readers, they will believe it, and to a child this isn’t as fluid as it is for adults. They don’t see that reading is developmental, and this blow to their confidence can really stick with them. If they aren’t decoding words yet, let them know that they can “read the pictures” and tell the story that way until they can read the words too.
6. Don’t forget to let your kids see you read for fun. Studies show that kids with parents who read often for pleasure are more likely to read for fun themselves. So if you want a kid who loves to read, let them see you reading too.
7. Don’t over-correct and over-practice. It’s exciting when your child starts to read independently, but forcing them to read and reread text until they have it perfect is not the most effective way to encourage or instruct. Read with your new reader and help when they ask for it. If they miss a word but the meaning is intact, don’t interrupt. If the meaning of the sentence is all screwy, wait for a natural pause and ask them, “Did that make sense?” You can revisit the word if it didn’t. Use the pictures and the rest of the text as clues if the word is too tough to decode. If you have to do this often, the text is too hard for your child. Choose something easier, or if they are insistent take turns reading so there is some fluency being modeled.
8. Don’t forget to read to your kids. Every day. Even those days when you just want them to go to sleep already!!
Check out Scholastic Parents Raise a Reader blog for more simple ways to bring literacy into your family. Together with Amy from Teachmama.com I share with readers tips, tricks and tried and true ways to Raise a Reader.
My son is all about games and challenges and this rhyming tree was just the right amount of learning ( and fun) after a long day at preschool. Whether you homeschool or just add little bits of learning into a day full of errands and play remember that lessons don’t have to be long, they just need to be targeted. This morning as I nursed my daughter my son and I played with rhymes so when he got home I had this tree prepped for him to revisit the rhymes and some new ones too.
- Gather your materials. You will need some sticky back foam( I used up lots of scrap pieces finally), construction paper ( I also used part of a paper bag… I love reusing things), markers , scissor and a glue stick.
- Start by drawing a tree without leaves.
- Write one word on each branch.
- Cut out and glue on the construction paper.
- Write rhyming words on the foam and cut out in the shape of leaves.
- Glue the tree on the paper.
- Add one rhyming fool . Peel and stick the words onto the rhyming branches. This isn’t a quiet time activity because I added some words to spark discussion like pair and pear as well as said which he recognizes in books but I suspected ( correctly) that out of context he doesn’t recognize. So even a little lesson( or game as my son calls it) like this can let me talk about homonyms and check on his sight words stress free.
- He loved it and laughed hysterically at me when I asked if I could add one becuase I was SURE that chair and bee rhymed. Another reason to stay and play… giggles! When we were done he counted up all the words on each branch to see which branch won. Yay a little math too !
The best part about learning to read are these games and play that becomes possible so don’t forget to make words a game…even if there is a lesson or two hidden inside.
I offer my kids crayons, markers and paint daily but my son has been in a rut. He turned down my offers, he wouldn’t grab the basket I’d leave materials in during quiet time, it seemed like I’d never get him to draw just to draw again! Then I bought some clip boards after seeing this art display on pinterest, My original goal was to make it a gallery for any and all of our art work but when I put white paper on them to see if I wanted to spray paint the clip boards white both my kids stopped playing . My son asked immediately what they were for , and I am so glad I was quick enough to answer ” They are for you, grab the markers!”.
And he did, and still is!
Now I simply change the paper every few days, he notices that there is fresh paper and grabs the markers.
He’s not the only one though , my daughter loves the clip boards too.
Best part is that you have a place to display your art already! Displaying art is really an important thing because it celebrates their creativity, their accomplishments and boosts their confidence in their own abilities.
Sometimes simple is all you need.