Did you know that learning to read begins way before children enter school? From the time they are infants, children learn language and other important pre-literacy skills that will help them be ready to read when they enter Kindergarten. Developing pre-literacy skills makes it easier for children to read once they begin school. Children who enter kindergarten with pre-reading skills have an advantage. These children can focus on learning to read instead of first learning essential pre-reading skills. Children who start kindergarten ready to read have greater success throughout their school years. Kindergarten readiness should begin when a child is still a baby.
So how can parents help their young child be ready to read? Preparing a child to be reading and Kindergarten ready is simple and does not cost money. Here are the five activities that parents and caregivers can do: Talk, sing, read, write and play with your child. These are incredibly simple, but can have a profound effect on a child and whether he or she is ready for Kindergarten. Below find ways that parents and caregivers can incorporate these activities into their children’s lives. Items in blue emphasize how the Library supports these activities. For more Kindergarten readiness resources please visit our Pinterest page.
- Make sure your child has lots of opportunities to talk with you, not just listen to you talk.
- Respond to what your child says and extend the conversation. “Yes, we did see a truck like that last week. It’s called a bulldozer.”
- Stretch your child’s vocabulary. Repeat what your child says and use new words. “You want a banana? That’s a very healthy choice.”
- Engage in "math talk" with your preschooler. Here is a list of resources to get you started.
- Come to the Barberton Public Library and talk to your child about what kind of book they would like to check out.
- Come to storytime at the Barberton Public Library and talk to your child about storytime afterwards.
- Talk to your child as you play with them or complete a craft at the Barberton Public Library
- Sing the alphabet song to learn about letters.
- Sing nursery rhymes so children hear the different sounds in words.
- Clap along to the rhythms in songs so children hear the syllables in words.
- Attend story time at the Barberton Public Library. We sing lots of songs.
- Check out a children’s music CD from the Barberton Public Library.
- Read every day.
- Use books to help teach your child new vocabulary words.Make shared reading interactive. Have your child turn the pages of the book. Ask questions as your read and listen to what your child says. Have your child retell the story when the book is finished.
- Get your child a library card so they can pick out books to read.
- Attend storytime at the Barberton Public Library.
- Sign your child up for the Winter Reading Club and Summer Reading Club.
- Check out a Sprout Backpack to take home.
- Sign up for the Barberton Public Library 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program.
- Check out Playaway Bookpack or book on CD to listen to in the car.
- Sign-up to get free books for your preschooler through the United Way of Summit County and the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.
- Writing begins with scribbles and other marks. Encourage this by providing many opportunities to draw and write.
- Talk to your children about what they draw, and write captions or stories together.
- Children can “sign” their name to drawings, which helps them understand that print represents words.
- Stop by the craft table at the Barberton Public Library for lots of opportunities to scribble, draw and create.
- Give your child plenty of playtime. Allow for unstructured play where children can use their imaginations and create stories about what they are doing.
- Encourage dramatic play. When children make up stories using puppets or stuffed animals, they develop important narrative skills. This helps children understand that stories and books have a beginning, middle, and end.
- Pretend to read a book. Have your child tell you a story based on the pictures in a book. This develops vocabulary and other language skills.
- Come to the Barberton Public Library and play with the toys.
- Attend a Play and Learn session at the Barberton Public Library.
- Check out a Sprout Backpack from the Barberton Public Library.
- Complete a craft project at the Barberton Public Library craft table.
- Check out World Book Early World of Learning for fun games and activities.