Most children start to read somewhere around age five or six, while some begin even earlier. Regardless of whether or not you have an early reader, the early years are a critical time for developing a love of reading in kids. As such, there are a number of early reading activities you can do with your child to help them get the best possible start.
In many ways, early reading activities are as easy as ABC, as any activity for early reading begins with a knowledge of the alphabet. The English language is made up of 26 letters and 44 sounds. Knowing the alphabet by heart, as well as the sounds that the letters make, is an important first step for language acquisition, as well as other pre-literacy skills such as phonemic awareness and phonics.
Early reading begins the moment a parent or caregiver speaks, sings or reads to a child. Simple activities, such as singing lullabies, nursery rhymes or playing lap or hand games like ‘Ride a Cock-Horse to Banbury Cross’ and ‘Pat-a-Cake’, are all more valuable literacy tools than they appear to be. Songs, rhymes and lap and hand games feed a child’s mind with language, rhymes and meter. This helps build their vocabulary, hear the individual sounds that make up words, and then remember what they’ve heard.
Another great tool to use during a child’s early reading stage is good books. There is enormous value in simply having good books around that are available to be browsed over and flipped through. Good quality picture books can mesmerize children with their captivating stories and artwork. Just like a picture, a picture book can be worth a thousand words, as engagement with a text as simple as a picture book can inspire countless conversations and questions about the story told, as depicted through word and image.
A book is only as good as its telling, so it is important to not only read to your child, but also to read well. Reading a story well models fluent reading to your listener. And a well-read story helps listeners discern the content, even when they don’t understand every word. It is also a great way to demonstrate your own engagement and enjoyment of reading with your child.
Reading Eggs incorporates a range of early reading activities that use word games, language play, and rhyme to develop a child’s skill with words, syllables and the sounds within words. Each letter of the alphabet is introduced in its own lesson and focuses on reinforcing the letter-sound relationship. Lessons also culminate with an e-book, allowing kids the opportunity to practise the instruction received in each lesson. Reading Eggs lessons are all geared toward the reading of real books, even at the early reading stage.
My preschooler LOVES Reading Eggs. She considers it a treat to get to play. She has made it through 2 levels so far and just keeps truckin’. This is much more comprehensive and child-friendly than any other software or site we have used to date. I just wish this had been around when my older son was learning to read. I have recommended this program to several of my friends and plan to use it well into the future.”
- Jacqueline Chappell
There is a race to the computers in the morning! Reading Eggs is a favourite of all the children in my class. It is engaging for ALL levels of readers and has become an essential part of our Pre Primary reading program. A great site. Thank you.
- Maureen Willcock