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Young children need to master five important skills before they are ready to learn to read.

Five practices of reading readiness

  1. Talking
  2. Singing
  3. Reading
  4. Writing
  5. Playing

These Ready Readers practices will help nurture children's desire to read and prepare their young minds for the adventures of reading. Some ways to promote reading with the help of Sno-Isle Libraries:

TALKING

Talking is one of the first activities that parents can do to support Ready Readers skills. Children learn language by listening to others around them speak.

When children listen to spoken words they learn:

  • How words sound.
  • The meanings of words.
  • Words can be put together to communicate ideas and information.

Tips for parents

  • Ask questions and listen to the answers.
  • Children learn by talking.
  • Talk about books that you've read.
  • If you speak more than one language, use your first language most often.

Booklist

SINGING

Singing is not only fun, it's also a natural way to learn language and boost vocabulary.

When children sing they:

  • Develop listening skills.
  • Pay attention to the rhythms and rhymes of language.
  • Hear the different parts of words.

Tips for parents

  • Clap along to songs to help children hear syllables and improve motor skills.
  • Sing songs more than once.

Booklist

READING

Reading and sharing books together with children excites them, so they'll want to read on their own.

When families read together, children:

  • Expand vocabulary.
  • Learn how books and written language work.
  • Learn how stories have a beginning, a middle and an end.

Booklist

Tips for parents

  • Share stories that you love.
  • Talk about illustrations.
  • Ask children to turn the pages.
  • Underline repeated phrases with your finger as you read.
WRITING

Writing goes along with reading. Writing also includes drawing and telling stories about the pictures.

Drawing and writing help children:

  • Develop hand-eye coordination to develop the fine-motor skills they need in order to write.

Tips for parents

  • Encourage children to sign their names on drawings or label the different parts.
  • Scribbling is good — this is the way children learn to write.
PLAYING

Playing is the work of children. It is one of the very best ways to learn language and literacy skills.

Playing helps children:

  • Practice putting thoughts into words.
  • Develop narrative skills.
  • Act out real situations and use imagination to solve problems.

Tips for parents

  • Don't spend a lot of money on toys — kids can do a lot with a stick, a box, or pots and pans.

Booklist

Artwork Copyright © 2009 Erik Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
At the moment that we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold,
that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever, for the better.
- Barack Obama


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