Little Readers: How Do You Nurture Early Literacy?
To inspire a love for reading and early literacy in children, we’ve gathered seven unique tips from CEOs and project managers. From leading by example and making reading fun to turning reading into a participatory activity, these leaders share their creative approaches that have made a difference in their own children’s lives.
- Lead by Example and Make Reading Fun
- Establish a Family Reading Time Tradition
- Let Children Narrate Stories from Pictures
- Present a Variety of Books and Stories
- Create a Reading Treasure Hunt Game
- Incentivize Reading with a Virtual Wallet
- Turn Reading into a Participatory Activity
Lead by Example and Make Reading Fun
A trick that works wonders in cultivating a love for reading and early literacy in children is simply leading by example—always having a book in hand. It’s a known fact that kids learn by watching their parents.
So, if they see us reading books all the time, it won’t be long before they become naturally curious about reading. To encourage this, it’s beneficial to read different kinds of books, like children’s stories, novels, or even magazines, when they’re around. Making reading a fun and interactive experience is also key. Special reading time, where everyone sits together and dives into books, can be very effective.
By being a positive role model, making reading interactive and fun, and keeping books easily accessible, it’s possible to see a child develop a true love for reading and early literacy. This is something that can benefit them for life!
William Foy, Project Manager, Parentaler
Establish a Family Reading Time Tradition
We established a “Family Reading Time” tradition. Each evening, we gather as a family and dedicate time to read. To make it engaging, we take turns choosing books and voicing different characters. We also create a cozy reading nook with cushions and soft lighting.
This routine not only makes reading a shared experience but also encourages our child’s curiosity and love for storytelling. By infusing fun and togetherness into reading, we’ve nurtured a positive association with books and sparked a lifelong passion for literature.
Let Children Narrate Stories from Pictures
Before my children were ever ready to learn how to read, I let them pick their own books from the library based on images only. Then, I set aside time for them to read their books to me and tried to appear a captive audience for them.
This wasn’t hard for them to understand, but I just explained that they should look at the pictures and tell me what they thought was happening. Since they had been hearing stories their entire lives, the descriptions quickly morphed into full-blown storytelling, which built up their confidence and excitement as pre-readers.
Present a Variety of Books and Stories
There are so many different styles and genres of books out there. A child might not like the book you put in front of them, and they might be different from the other children around their same age. If you can, try to present different types of books and stories to your child in order to really help them fall in love with reading.
Many parents will purchase the most popular book and place it in front of their children, expecting them to love it.
Many children will enjoy it, but some might not, and it’s important at this time to find an alternative type of storytelling for them to try. Just because they don’t like what you present to them doesn’t mean they don’t want to read. It could be a matter of what you’ve provided them with, as even children at a young age will like different things.
Create a Reading Treasure Hunt Game
My approach to fostering a love for reading in my niece turned into what we fondly call “The Reading Treasure Hunt.”
Imagine a scavenger hunt, but with books and words instead of objects. I would strategically place age-appropriate books around the house, each containing a clue that leads to another book. The final book contains a “treasure”—a small toy or treat for completing the adventure.
This method turned reading into an interactive and tactile experience. My niece didn’t see reading as a solitary or stagnant activity, but as a dynamic game. It associated the act of reading with the joy and excitement of discovery, making my niece more willing to pick up a book independently.
Incentivize Reading with a Virtual Wallet
I’ve found that incentivizing my child’s reading has been an effective and enjoyable way to foster their love for books and early literacy. I set up a virtual wallet for my kid, where they earn a dollar for every ten pages they read, and I explain this to other parents.
This way, we know what they are reading and can comprehend. It also helps us build better communication with parents. Children can use that money freely, without restrictions, to purchase anything they desire. This not only motivates them to read more but also gives them a sense of ownership and choice, making the reading experience even more special for them.
Turn Reading into a Participatory Activity
Children find it fun when adults include them in activities that are out of their regular routine. The same goes for reading, a practice that can quickly become stale for most kids. From a child’s perspective, reading books is something they do for studying, which distracts them from their fun activities. So, there is no excitement or desire for them to partake in this intentionally. However, if you turn it into an activity in which they can participate, like opening a classroom library for students to get books, it adds an element of fun.
You can ask the children to bring books they love or have at home to display in the makeshift classroom library. Assign some kids the responsibility of maintaining the books, while others keep a record of who takes which book, etc. Kids find this activity of taking care of a library enjoyable and adult-like, which excites them to participate. Plus, they feel interested in taking a book from their library and reading it, further boosting a love for reading in their hearts.
Submit Your Answer
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