Village Wisdom: Growing Book by Book

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Growing book by book – Nurturing language development in young learners

By Kindergym parent and primary school literacy specialist teacher Lauren

Parents often ask, “What can I do to help my pre-schooler learn to read?” Let’s start at the very beginning… talk! Talking with your child and reading aloud builds brain connections, builds vocabulary and helps nurture your bond with your baby or child.

Here are some tips for creating positive language experiences:

  • First you must teach them to love – offer reading as a precious gift, a special time to enjoy together
  • Read aloud, and read often
  • From the moment your child is born, read!
  • SING your books to your child – Check out Julie Murray from Sounds like this for inspiration
  • Use your voice in different ways, loud and soft, high and low, using different voices for different characters
  • Create a special space for reading: a comfy cushion, a special chair, under a tree, on a picnic blanket
  • Leave some books in your car or bag for those times when you might be stuck waiting for an appointment, or if you arrive early to your destination
  • Read and recite nursery rhymes
  • Find books with rhyme or rhythm, tap the beat together
  • Visit the library together
  • Read in the bath
  • Read a story before bedtime, it’s a great way to relax and unwind

When birthday gift planning for 2018, why not focus on books as gifts? Writing a note with the date or occasion on the inside of a book for your child is a great way to personalise their special books. You might also like to encourage others to do the same. Each time you read the book your child is reminded of the gift.

Finally, make it fun! In just 15 minutes a day you can make the world of difference to your child’s language experience. As Emilie Buchwald once said, “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” Enjoy these precious moments, slow down and find the magic.

Happy reading!