Is your preschooler ready to read? Take a look at some of the most common signs of reading readiness and how child care centers can foster early literacy development.
Interest in Reading
Does your child show a sudden or new interest in books, reading, or other related activities? Even though interest in early literacy lessons isn't the only prerequisite for reading, it's a start. The more interest your child has, the more willing they are to participate in literacy-based activities at daycare and at home. Signals of interest in reading may include:
Pretend play reading
Your child may not have the literacy skills to read the words on the pages of their favorite books. But this may not stop them from pretending they can. Your child may pretend to read their books to themselves, to toys (such as stuffed animals), or to you.
Increased focus during story-time
As your child develops new cognitive, social, and emotional skills, the ability to focus and pay attention will grow. You may notice a greater amount or degree of focus during school or home story-time activities.
Attention to environmental print
Words aren't only found in books. As your child becomes more interested in reading, they may start to notice letters and words in their environment. These could include the words on food packaging, in a retail store, or on street signs.
The early childhood education center environment can help your soon-to-be new reader develop literacy skills. From story-time or circle time to free play in the classroom library area, your preschooler will have plenty of opportunities to explore their new interest in books and reading.
Awareness of the Alphabet
How many letters does your child know? While different children master literacy skills at somewhat different rates, most preschoolers follow a predictable pattern or set of development steps. A growing awareness of the alphabet and the ability to recognize letters and sounds may mean your child is ready to read.
In-school and at-home activities to help your child learn the letters and make connections to sounds include:
Interactive reading activities
Instead of reading at your child, the teacher (or you) can read interactively. This gives your child the chance to ask questions, match letters to sounds, and explore books in their own way.
Literacy activities don't only happen in the book center. Alphabet-themed art can also help your child to build early reading skills.
Songs and music
Along with the visual arts, songs, and music that focus on the alphabet are age-appropriate ways to help the preschooler to build reading basics.
Learn more about how child care can help your child to go from ready-to-read to a full-fledged reader. Ask your child's teacher for more information on classroom literacy lessons and ways to extend these activities at home.