Reading at Home
The number one thing a parent can do witht heir child is to read together.
- Make listening to a story a regular part of your child’s bedtime routine. This will help your child develop a lifetime habit of reading before he or she goes to sleep.
- Help your child select the story or book. (Take turns selecting - sometimes you select and sometimes your child selects.)
- Relax! Sit beside your child, or allow your child to lie comfortably on the bed
- Talk very briefly about the cover, illustrations, and the book’s title before you start.
- Make sure that your child can see the pictures. Pictures help a young reader follow the story or understand the information in a nonfiction book.
- From time to time, run your finger under the print to show that your voice follows the line of text.
- After reading a story, talk about it for a minute or two (not too long!) You might ask some questions, but be careful not to destroy your child’s enjoyment of the book. Ask questions such as:
- Why do you think he/she did that?
- What do you think is going to happen next?
- What might have happened if…?
- If the child prefers to read about factual subjects, ask questions such as:
- What did you learn about…that you didn’t know before?
- Did this book tell you what you wanted to know about…?
Below are creative ways to help your child learn the alphabet letters.
Shaving Cream - Use men’s shaving cream (Don’t use Menthol). Spread it on a large surface such as a table. Let the child practice making letters in the cream.
Sand - Fill a large pan with sand. Give the child a stick and let him practice making letters in the sand.
Jell-O® Jigglers - Get cookie cutters that are shaped like alphabet letters. Make the Jell-O jiggler recipe off the Jell-O recipe box. Have the child cut alphabet letters out of the Jell-O and practice naming them.
Cornmeal Writing - Practice writing letters in cornmeal. Write names and then try to guess the letters in the names: mom, dad, cat, dog, brother, etc.
Rainbow Letters - Choose a letter and write or paint it in five colors with markers or a paint box.
Letter Books - Staple some paper together. Find letters in magazines and cut them out and paste them in the book. Make one page for each letter of the alphabet.
4X6 Index cards - Write one alphabet letter on each card. Find a picture from a magazine or newspaper that begins with each letter and paste it on the card with that letter. Practice naming the letters on the cards.
Magnetic Letters - Get magnetic letters. Practice making words and naming the letters by sticking them on the refrigerator.
Play-clay ("Playdough") - 4 cups flour, 2 cups of salt, 4 Tbs. Alum (found with the spices at the grocery store) 1/4 cup oil, food coloring - whatever color you like, mix together in a bowl, add three cups of boiling water, stir up well, let sit for 5 minutes, knead into a ball. Store in an airtight container. Let the child practice making letters out of the dough. They may also use letter cookie cutters. Make something that begins with the letter that they cut out, for example A make an apple to go with the letter a.
Magic Slate® - practice making letters.
Alphabet Cereal - Name letters before you eat them, find every letter of the alphabet and glue them on a piece of paper.
Pipe Cleaners - Form the pipe cleaners into the shapes of letters.
Yarn - Practice making the yarn into letter shapes, glue them on cards. Use them as practice cards. Sometimes feeling the letter helps the child remember it.
Sandpaper Letters - Cut the letters out of sandpaper. Glue them on cards. Let the child feel the letters as he tries to name them.
Chalkboard - Get a small chalkboard and let the child write letters.
Marker Board - Get a small white marker board and let the child practice writing the letters with dry erase markers.