1. Read to your child everyday, several times a day.
2. Talk to your child about the subject matter of the book to activate prior knowledge and help build meaning. For example,”There is a barn on the cover. What type of animals do you think we will see in this book about a farm?” or “Do you remember when we went to Sunshine Farm and you fed the geese corn?”
3. While reading stop and talk about the book. Ask your child questions, encourage them to make predictions or inferences.
4. Reread the same book over and over again- they notice something new every time and love hearing favorites over and over again!
5. Play with words and phonemic awareness. Rhyme often and read rhyming books. Make up fun rhymes even if they are nonsense words! Don’t forget poetry and song books.
6. Have your child notice print and gain an interest in book handling skills. For example,”Look Ladybug starts with the letter L, just like your name Logan.” or “I am going to read you this story, can you point to where I start reading?”
7.Share interesting vocabulary with your child, explain unknown words, and use them in context. Build them with magnetic letters.
8. Build meaning for your child. The snapshots of life provide the foundation of your child’s literacy explosion. Bring them out in nature, to fairs, museums, parks, zoos, trips to stores, and be involved with experiences that are meaningful to your child.
9. See that writing and reading are parallel and need to be explored holistically. Provide your child with paper, crayons, scissors, magazines for cutting out pictures, wipe off boards, etc. Give them ample time to talk about their stories and their art work. Validate them as writers when you tell them, “I love your story, you are such a great writer.” or “I love how you drew me in the picture, it helped me understand your story about me!”(Don’t forget to display their work)
10. Know how important play is for literacy development, and insist it is part of your child’s early years and in Kindergarten too! Playing with peers uses your child’s imagination. Encourages them to pull from prior meaning, take risks, debate, find solutions, engage in spontaneous discourse with their peers, demands they compromise, develop understanding from others, and constructs new meaning for them while they can build off previous knowledge.