What reading experts say:
Concepts of print (print awareness) was listed as one of the 10 essential research-based principles to improve the reading achievement of America's children by The National Research Council in Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children.
Children need to know how our language looks and works in printed form. There are certain conventions of English language text that you can point out as you read stories. When children begin to realize that words tell a story, that we read from left to right and that there is a difference between letters and words, they are attending to some of the visual features of print that are important to reading.
What good readers know:
Good readers can identify the cover and back of books. They know that books have authors and illustrators and that the text within the book tells the story, not the pictures. They also notice print in their environment (signs advertising their favorite restaurants) and like to help with household chores (making the grocery list, creating charts of what each family member wants for dessert and "reading" the ingredients for a recipe).
What parents can do to help children Grow Up Reading™:
Practice counting and one-to-one correspondence. Make a "counting box" with various items that are safe for your child to count independently, like cotton balls or jelly beans. Number a set of cups from 0-10. Put the cups in order and have your child count and put the matching number of objects in each cup.
Choose a favorite book and act out the story together. Make props with objects from around the house. Promote your child's imagination by making up alternate endings or extra characters.
Go to the Main Library or Westacres Branch. Act out a story with puppets, props and dress-up clothes in the Youth Services Room.
Read five books from the "Playing" book list.
Activities - Playing:
- Visit the Library to play a variety of board games or educational toys. This will provide endless opportunities for educational fun, laughs and build thinking and fine motor skills. Visit the Youth Services Information Desk for more information.
- Visit your local park or playground. Teach your child how to use the playground equipment such as how to pump her legs back and forth on a swing, climb stairs one foot and then the other or climb on the monkey bars. These are great fun movement activities but also good for hand eye coordination, gross motor skills and active play.