Encouraging Reading in Small Children

There is a set of methods one can use before the child learns the letters and concepts of reading. Unfortunately, you cannot just buy him some books and hope he’ll become Einstein on his own. The best pre-reading activity is… drumroll… no, computer games is a wrong guess. Try again. Talking. Yes, talking and discussing things is the best activity to prepare children to becoming pro readers. It’s not really that difficult finding a little bit of time to talk to your children while they still want to talk to you.

There are some methods involving pre reading activities that you can use (note: these activities aren’t meant as substitutes to communicating and talking to your children). More or less the same methods are used by teachers in those ultra-modern alternative schools. That doesn’t mean they are perfect or something – it’s just another way to engage with children and stimulate their intellect. So, why not?

This method is called object matching or we can simplify it down to picture matching. What you need is a heap of matching objects: small toys, lego bricks, seashells (no scissors, forks or other dangerous objets please).

Get the child to lay out objects one by one on the table or on the floor and you name
each object. Then ask him to lay out matching objects under or near the object it matches. He also must name the object.

Picture cards can be used as an alternative.

This is a great method to learn new words and master visual/word connections – both are essential for good quality reading in the future.




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