Now more than ever, it’s evident that children who are strong readers have the opportunity for a bright future ahead of them. Many factors come into play regarding a child’s academic achievements. Educators teach kids to grow in their reading and writing skills, but parents must emphasize the importance of reading outside the classroom.
Let’s look at ways parents and guardians can teach children the importance of reading.
Learning Their Name
One of the first words a child learns to read and write is their name. There is a sense of accomplishment when a child confidently says, “That’s my name!” Knowing their name is also vital to work on before they begin school. Parents can start by working on name recognition with the child before teaching them to write it. Luckily, there are lots of activities and toys that focus on name-learning.
Learning Through Toys
Children learn through play. Some toys will teach them motor or social skills, some will teach them academic skills, and great toys can teach all three. When a parent is teaching their child the importance of reading, toys that incorporate letters, numbers, and colors can be beneficial. Here at Hollow Woodworks, we’re biased toward our puzzle stools, which can help children learn their names and work on letter and color recognition.
Reading While Out and About
As adults, we know how reading affects our daily life outside of books, a critical lesson for children. Reading opportunities are all around us, and when parents are out and about with their young readers, they can point out different ways to practice reading skills.
While with your kids, read aloud (or, if they’re old enough, have them read to you) car directions while traveling, restaurant menus, product descriptions in stores, museum displays, etc. Children will begin to understand the importance of their reading skills beyond the classroom and books.
Read Alouds and Storytime
Reading aloud to or with a child before bed is an excellent way to wind down the night. Parents can read aloud to newborns and toddlers even before they understand the story – the idea is to make reading a part of their daily routine, and when they can read on their own, they’ll follow suit.
Read-alouds don’t always have to be before bed; they can be done at different times throughout the day to help cement the idea that reading is essential throughout the day, not just at bedtime. Parents can try reading aloud in the car, while in a waiting room, or after a meal. Many local libraries will have storytime hours where parents and guardians can bring young ones to listen and follow along with a book.
Incorporate Sight Words
Once a child learns to read in the classroom, many educators start with “sight words.” These are usually shorter words that are common in English, and the idea is that young readers can recognize them right away without sounding them out. Some examples are “to,” “and,” “the,” and “all. ”
Parents and guardians can incorporate sight words into other activities outside of school to keep kids practicing. Children can play matching games with sight words and flashcards or circle all the sight words they see on a label or advertisement.
Learning Through Writing
Good readers write, and good writers read. A child doesn’t need to have dreams to be the next Ernest Hemingway to benefit from writing. Parents can work with advanced readers on writing their own short stories, poems, songs, scripts, or any medium that allows them the space to think creatively. Sure, children will write plenty of papers in school, but practicing outside of their schoolwork can help them open up their minds to the possibilities reading and writing can bring.
Check Out Hollow Woodworks
Reading is a lifelong pursuit that starts when a child is born. Armed with these tips, parents and guardians can ensure their children are ready for each school year and eager to take on the world.
Our Hollow Woodworks team specializes in making unique handcrafted wooden toys for children. Some of our most popular items are our Name Puzzle Stools, which will help your child learn their name and have fun along the way.
Check out our online store for our other products, and let us know if you have any ideas or questions!