Library shares tips on preparing children to read

FOX19 Chief Meteorologist Steve Horstmeyer shares information about children's books. File photo
FOX19 Chief Meteorologist Steve Horstmeyer shares information about children's books. File photo

FOX19 - Are you the parent of a preschooler? Here's how you can help prepare them to read.

Lise Tewes, who leads the children's department at the Kenton County Public Library's Erlanger branch, is our guest on Thursday's The Xtra. Tewes will also have library mascot Booker the reading retriever.

Here is some key information from the library:

• During the years from 0-5, children are developing critical skills that will enable them to become successful readers when they are old enough to go to school.

• Parents can help their babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to develop these skills by talking, singing, reading, writing and playing with them.

• Talking to your baby, your toddler, and your preschooler is essential. It is important to share what is called "rich" talk with your children. We all share "business" talk – it's time to eat, pick up your shoes, brush your teeth, etc. The talk that really develops language skills is "rich" talk – telling stories, sharing a memory of an event, discussing the color of the flowers or how much fun we had at the zoo.

• Singing is an important way for children to hear the sounds of language. Singing slows down language and helps children hear the small sounds, the rhymes, and the cadence of language, which helps them later be able to sound out words when it is time for them to learn how to read. Nursery rhymes are also important for this reason.

• Reading books to your children is essential. From the day you bring them home from the hospital, you should read to your children. Children who are read to regularly learn that books and reading are fun and important. Reading books to children helps them develop large vocabularies, develops their comprehension skills and helps them understand that print has meaning. Young children who are read to frequently are more likely to be motivated to learn to read when they enter school because they have had so many pleasant associations with reading all along.

• Playing with your children will develop social skills, motor skills and cognitive skills. For example, building with blocks will help with fine motor coordination, cooperation and sharing, and understanding cognitive concepts like size and shape. If you talk to your child as you play, discussing the who and how and why and what of your play, you are also increasing their vocabulary and language skills, specifically.

• Parents can help children understand writing by letting children see them make shopping lists, write cards or letters, send emails and texts. When children are old enough to safely hold a large crayon, let them start to scribble on paper or coloring books.

• The library can be a partner to parents as young children are growing. It has toddler books, picture books, and children's music that you can borrow to enjoy with your child at home. It offers literacy enrichment programs for ages 0-6 in its children's departments.

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