Read a book that has alliterative phrases such as: "Bobby bakes bread" or "my mother makes mudpies." Helping your child find the letter that repeats shows them that the words we read are made up of letters.
The Animal Antics series is great for this activity.
Acting out stories helps children understand the new stories they hear.
Read then act out We're Going on a Bear Hunt
Tip: Playing sound games builds listening skills that will help children sound out words as they learn to read.
Literacy Activity: Read Sing- Along Song What sounds does your child hear in their world?
Parents can help foster children’s interest in books by reading with inflection, and changing the tempo and volume of their voice as the story suggests. Try reading a book your child using different voices for the different characters.
When you make lists of interesting things with your child,
it gives them a different way to think about and learn new words.
Read one of these books and then have your kids help make a list.
Here’s a new version of Hey Diddle Diddle, in which all the other animals get to play musical instruments along with the cat.
Children who know nursery rhymes by heart have an easier time sounding out words when they are ready to read. Print out all 24 of these coloring pages, fold them into little books, and let your child color them in. You can keep them in the car or a totebag and read them together when you are on the go!
Print out these free booklets from PBS for fun ideas to that will get you reading, writing, talking, singing, and playing with your kids. While they play, they will be getting ready to read!
Make a little book with your children and write down a story they tell you. Your book can be as simple as a piece of paper folded in half, or you can try one of these fun, easy, and inexpensive book ideas at Making Books with Children.
Check out this fabulous new search-and-find book! more
Once you’ve read Fortunately Unfortunately together, you and your child can be the storytellers for your own incredible adventure! more
You can do the same thing as Timmy Bear and his mother. more
Check out “Give the Dog a Bone” and sing it instead of reading it! more
Learning new ways to describe objects, feelings, and ideas helps children build their vocabularies. A big vocabulary is a big help when children start to learn to read!
Read Too Purpley or Too Pickley, about a little girl and a little boy who are very finicky about their clothes and food. more
Before children can learn to read, they need to understand that those black printed squiggles on the page stand for the words they hear and use. They’ll need to pay attention to the lines of the letters just as much as they pay attention to the pictures now. Read Follow the Line Through the House together, and have fun tracing the single squiggle all through the book with your finger.
Then work on some squiggle drawings of your own! Print out these pages (or draw your own) and turn the squiggles into whatever you can imagine! Don’t forget to write down what your child tells you about their drawing so they can see that there’s a connection between the words they tell you and the words you write on the page.
When you read We Are In a Book with your child, ask them how do they know when Gerald and Piggie are saying something? If they’re not sure, point out the speech bubbles!
Then draw a picture together and ask your child what the people or animals in their picture are saying. Print out these speech bubbles, write down what your child has told you, and add their words to the picture!
Lists are everywhere! Read Put it On the List together and play I Spy to find all the lists in the book. Then play I Spy for lists as you go through your day! We see lists on grocery store aisle signs, restaurant menus, and library check-out receipts. What would you write in a list of your own?
Did you notice how some of the letters for the words in In My Heart were drawn to be part of the pictures? You can decorate a fancy letter, too! Draw a big letter on a piece of construction paper, and fill it with lots of patterns or small pictures. You can fill in the shape of the letter with scraps of paper, if you want. If you don't feel confident drawing a letter freehand, print out one of these coloring pages!
Tip: Knowing the letters is an important step on the road to reading.
Read What happens on Wednesdays
Is there a day in your week that has a particular routine? When you wake up your child in the morning, say, "Today is Thursday! Do you remember what happens on Thursdays?" See if they can tell you! If they're not sure, give them prompts. "We go over to Grandmas, and we..." "Eat dinner!" "Yes, that's right, we eat dinner with Grandma. Then what?"
Tip: Telling stories and putting events in sequence helps children build their narrative skills.
After you read Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever together, talk about how the words and the pictures don’t always tell the same story. Print out some vacation pictures and give everyone in the family a different photo. Have each person write a caption for the photo that tells a different part of the story than the picture does!
Read Pictures From Our Vacation about all the photos that didn’t get taken on one family’s vacation. Talk about your last vacation together. What were some pictures that didn’t get taken? What do you remember even without photos? What picture do you wish you had from that trip?
After you have read Rhyming Dust Bunnies together a few times, see if the next time you read the book, your child can add their own rhyming word to the ones named by the dust bunnies. Then, give your child a short word and ask them what the Rhyming Dust Bunnies might rhyme with it. "This crayon is blue...what would the Dust Bunnies say to rhyme with "blue?"
TIP: Practicing rhyming helps children get ready to sound out words when they read.
Read Luke on the Loose
The next time your child draws a picture with an animal or person in it, ask him or her what they are saying. Draw a word balloon for the character and add your child's words. If your child does not want you to draw on their masterpiece, you can draw a word balloon on a sticky note and add it temporarily!
Tip: You are building their awareness that print carries meaning!
Read At Night
Take a blanket and pillow and make a bed for you and your child somewhere else in the house, such as the family room or the kitchen. Lie down and close your eyes. Ask your child to imagine that it is night time and you are getting ready to sleep outside. Where are you? Are you at the zoo, on a mountain, at the playground, or somewhere else? What do you see and hear?
TIP: Describing things and events and telling stories helps children get ready to understand the facts and stories that they will read.
Read Alpha Oops!
Cut 4 pieces of printer paper into 8 small pieces each. This will give you more than enough pieces for this project. Write one letter of the alphabet on each paper. Mix up all the pieces and lay them out in a long row on the table or floor. Say the alphabet in this new mixed-up order! You can also sort out the letters into groups—which letters have curvy lines? Which letters have straight lines?
TIP: Learning the names of all the letters is an important first step in learning to read. Mixing up the letters helps children recognize the letters no matter what order they see them in!
Read Chicken Cheeks
Choose an object such as a coat, or a car, and take turns with your child thinking up as kinds of that object as you can. For coat, you might think of Jacket, Sweater, Pullover, Windbreaker, Parka, and Fleece. For car, you might think of SUV, Convertible, Jeep, Limousine, and Taxi.
TIP Children who have the biggest vocabularies have an easier time recognizing words when they start to read!
Read The Perfect Gift
Cut pictures out of magazines or catalogs, or use clip-art images printed from your word processing software, and glue them on small pieces of paper to make your own book! Ask your child what is happening on each page, and write down what they say.
TIP: Making books helps children learn how books work! Knowing how books work, that they have print in them, and that print has meaning, are all things children need to know to become successful readers.
Read My Heart is Like a Zoo
Cut squares, triangles, circles, and other simple shapes from different colored construction paper. Use the shapes to make your own animals or creations! Talk about the shapes as you use them—the circle has curvy lines, the square has straight lines.
TIP: Learning to tell shapes apart is the basic skill children will need to be able to tell letters of the alphabet apart when they read.
Read Superhero ABC
Make your own ABC book with some of your favorite words! Don't worry about trying to think of a word for every letter. Just enjoy gathering some super words!
Tip: The more words a child knows, the easier reading becomes!