Tips for Building Literacy

It’s never too early to start reading! From birth to five, a child’s brain develops faster than at any other point in life, forming over a million new connections every second. Research shows that reading early can strengthen children’s early language and literacy skills and set the foundation for reading comprehension.

As we celebrate Read Across America Day, here are some of our tips for reading with your child today:

  1. Make reading a part of your daily routine. Establishing a routine helps ensure that reading is part of your daily schedule, such as at naptime and bedtime. It also creates times during the day that both of you can look forward to.
  2. Ask your child questions. As you read to your child, make the experience interactive by asking questions, such as “what do you think will happen next?” Parents can even have their child tell them a story based on the pictures shown.
  3. Count objects on the page. As you read to your child, count objects on the page together to help strengthen early math skills.
  4. Read with passion! Using inflection and maintaining the same highs and lows in your voice at the same point in a story helps your child begin to remember the words.
  5. Set an example. Let your child see you reading your books to help develop their own love of reading.

Whether your child is a newborn or about to head to kindergarten, here are some great books to read during story time:

  • Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle – this book is good for introducing the themes of friendship and helping others.
  • Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae – Great for instilling themes of self-confidence and following one’s own dreams.
  • Smile, Baby Faces Board Book by Roberta Grobel Intrater – This book features photos of babies from varying backgrounds instilling the concept of diversity.
  • This is My Hair by Todd Parr – Promotes lessons in self-confidence and acceptance.
  • Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora – Perfect for repetition concepts.
  • We’re Different, We’re the Same by Bobbi Kates – Introducing the concept of body parts, this book discusses social emotional themes of similarities and differences.
  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems – A great book highlighting the benefits of a bedtime routine.
  • Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang and Max Lang – Introduces the concept of managing emotions.