It’s exciting to witness Parker’s reading development! He’s not quite three years old and reading! He calls out words like bank, zoo, east, and west while in the car. He reads sections of his books to us and his younger brother. He identifies words in the books that my husband and I read. Although he surprises us every day with what he can read, I think we gave him, and continue to give him, an environment that has facilitated his skill development.
The U.S. Department of Education lists various activities to do with your children to encourage literacy development and I was pleased to see that we already do quite a bit of what they suggest. We have read to Parker from day one and surround him with a literate rich environment. Children’s books, adult fiction and nonfiction, magazines, letter magnets, and foam letters in the bath fill our home. We point out and talk about signs in the community. Parker loves to be read to from both his books and ours. Frequently, he asks us to read out loud from the books we are reading. We read to him while he’s in the bath. In fact, he’s chosen to listen to the first two Harry Potter books and
the Narnia series. Looking through magazines with Parker from an early age has been fun because we use them for vocabulary building. We’d either point to a picture or ask him to name it, or we’d ask him to point to a particular picture. It was so fun and rewarding to see that adorable smile on his face when he knew he was correct. Parker loves to sing the Alphabet Song and we play with how fast or slow we sing it. He thinks it so funny to hear Mommy sing the ABC’s as fast as she can. One game he likes to play is where one of us chooses a letter and then we take turns naming words that start with that letter. The list goes on and on.
The idea is to continuously play with words and sounds and encourage our children to play along. Show them how important reading is. Not just from books, but in all elements of our lives. Help instill the love of reading and get them hooked at an early age, and there’s no telling where their skills will lead them.