The objective of each family who wishes to help develop their young members’ reading abilities must try, above everything, to generate curiosity for reading and interest and attraction for books and the written language. You can achieve this by using different activities.
- Read them a little each day. Choose a quiet time, like the moments before bedtime, and start reading your little ones stories appropriate for their age. This exercise will allow them to see reading as a pleasant activity and will start associating sounds with letters.
- Help them see the usefulness of reading. The written word does not only appear in books, but also on various objects and spaces we use every day. Parents can start teaching the children to make associations between the written and the spoken language, if they involve the little ones in these reading situations. You can read the street and shop signs or the labels on food together. Another option is to place labels written in large font on different objects in the house.
- Letter games: there are games that help children learn and recognize the letters of the alphabet, and associate them with complete words. Some interesting games that you can play with your child are “I spy…”, “Word chain”, or spelling names and words.
- Reading with pictures: stories with pictures include images that are easy to understand for children, and that can be easily replaced by an appropriate word. This type of reading is very motivating, as the children, though still unable to read properly, become more than mere spectators of the process of reading.
- Be an example yourself: growing up in an environment that encourages reading is one of the most influential background factors with direct implications on the child’s future reading skills. Parents must allow their children to join them when they read, talk to them about the text they are reading, help them create their own bookcase and introduce to them the public spaces where they can get books from – that is, libraries and bookstores.