Learning to Read Milestones:
Knows the names of most letters and their sounds
Recognizes name in print and begins to write name
Begins to recognize rhymes
Tells stories about own drawings
Understands that printed words have meaning
Is your child crazy about dinosaurs (or trains, bugs, animals, sports…)? Borrow some non-fiction fact books from the library and talk about the information and pictures in them. This will grow your child’s love of books of all kinds.
Learning to write with different materials is an important skill. Put together a writing box with paper, pens, crayons, chalk, and other writing tools and keep it handy. Paint with water on the sidewalk and fence.
Choose a “letter of the day” (like the first letter of your child’s name) and look for it as you go about your daily routine. Children are learning that words are all around us and that letters, put together, form words that have meaning. Talk about the sound your “letter of the day” makes.
Choose some “predictable” books that repeat words or phrases and have your child help you tell the story. What comes next?
Play with words: make up your own silly songs or rhymes. Rhymes don’t even have to be real words: what rhymes with cat? Bat, mat, flat, sat, lat, zat…
Watch short videos to learn fun songs and rhymes for your preschooler, including some in Spanish, and how they help build readers, at www.storyblocks.org/. Click on Preschoolers.
You can also watch a doctor at a Reach Out and Read clinic talking and reading with a 5 year old at www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHE79dklGw8.