Grow a Reader at Home LogoParents are kid’s first teachers!
The skills that help kids learn to read can be developed from the time they are infants. By engaging in simple activities every day with your child, you will help develop language and other  important skills that will help them learn to read.

You are in the best position to help your child get ready to read!

  • Young children have short attention spans; you can do activities for short bits of time throughout the day.
  • You know your child best! You can help him or her learn in ways and at times that are easiest for them.
  • Parents are role models; if your children see that you think reading is important and enjoy it, they will follow your lead!
  • Children learn best by doing, and they love doing things with YOU!

Five Simple Activities


Children learn language and other early literacy skills by listening to their parents and others talk. As children hear spoken language, they learn new words and what they mean.  This will help children understand the meaning of what they read.  Simple steps: Talk and listen to your child as you prepare meals, do household chores, or get ready for bed — anytime is a good time for conversation.

  • Respond to what your child says and extend the conversation. “Yes, we did see a truck last week.  It’s called a bulldozer.”
  • Stretch your child’s vocabulary. Repeat what your child says and use new words. “You want a banana? That’s a very healthy choice.”


Reading together is the single most important way to help children get ready to read. It increases vocabulary and general knowledge.  It helps kids learn how print looks and how books work. Simple steps:

  • Read every day!
  • Make reading interactive. Have your child predict what the book is about. Ask open ended questions as you read. Explain new words.
  • Write


Reading and writing go together.  Both represent spoken language and communicate information. Simple step:

  • Give your child many chances to draw and write to develop hand-eye coordination and develop hand muscles


Children learn a lot about language through play.  Play helps children learn symbolically so they understand that spoken and written words can stand for real objects and experiences.  Simple steps:

  • Give your child plenty of unstructured, imaginative playtime.
  • Encourage dramatic play.


Songs are a wonderful way to learn about language.  Singing also slows down language so children can hear the different sounds that make up words.  Simple steps:

  • Sing songs and nursery rhymes and play music.
  • Clap along to the rhythm in songs so children hear the syllables in words.
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