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10 Tips for Families of Young Children

1. Read aloud to your child every day
●    Read to babies even before they can talk
●    Let your child see and touch the book
●    Play with voices and the sounds of words

2. Create a print rich-home environment
●    Have a wide variety of books available to children
●    Encourage children to look at books on their own
●    Set aside a family reading area and a family reading time

3.  Use grocery shopping to encourage reading and writing
●    Have children help you search for specific brands
●    Use the aisle markers with your child to find items
●    Match coupons to products
●    Have children write out grocery lists

4.  Cook with your child to develop literacy
●    Show your child how to read a recipe
●    Read the labels on ingredients together
●    Make a family cookbook of favorite recipes
●    Develop oral literacy by talking about family recipes and cooking tips

5. Point out environmental print to children.
●    Note signage during nature walks and other outings 
●    Discuss logos 
●    Ask children to point out print outside of the home environment 

6.  Tell stories together
●    Talk together about your family history
●    Look at old vacation photos and discuss your memories of the trip
●    Record your storytelling

7.  Sing and rhyme with your child
●    Choose songs with rhymes and word play
●    Play rhyming games with your child such as what other words sound like ”honey”?
●    Challenge your child to sing or say rhymes as fast as they can and don’t forget to laugh if the results are silly

8.  Write with your child
●    Provide lots of writing materials (chalk, markers, crayons, and pencils)
●    Encourage your child to draw and write on their own
●    Encourage your child to write thank you notes to grandparents, make to-do lists, etc.  

9. Tie literacy to art 
●    Visit an art museum together and use storytelling to explain what is happening in the artwork. Allow your child to interpret the artwork however he/she views it
●    Have children create their own drawings, painting, sculptures, and even instillation pieces made from recyclables in your living room
●    Explain art with sentence strips on which children dictate to you what their artwork is about (consider making a recording in which the children can tell a story about their artwork)

10.  Visit the library (and/or bookstore) often
●    Make trips as often as you can
●    Encourage your child to get his or her own library card
●    Take advantage of library programs, such as read alouds and family book clubs


Source: Reading Is Fundamental