Pre-Reading Skills Focus: Print Motivation

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Welcome to the Pre-Reading Skills Focus Series!  This will be a 6-part series, because six pre-reading skills will be focused on individually!

A series on the pre-reading skills needed for preschoolers to become successful readers.

Part 1 is here: Pre-Reading Skills Focus: Print Motivation

What is Print Motivation?

Simply, it is being interested in and enjoying books.

Print Motivation starts at a very early age.  Even the youngest of children can be read to by a caregiver.  Usually this reading time is a calm time for you and your child to cuddle around a book.  This creates a positive and warm feeling of reading time.

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To help your child enjoy reading, here are some ideas for multiple age groups:

Infants & Young Toddlers

-Read children's books to your child, holding the book up so that pictures can be seen.

-Show your child that you also read (whether it be a book, the paper or a magazine)

-When reading to a mobile child, do not force him/her to stay in one spot while reading.  Just take a break and continue reading once your child seems interested again.  Reading books needs to be enjoyable!

-Provide a basket of books (cloth, board and plastic books) at your child's level.  Expect that some books might get chewed on or torn.

Toddlers (2 & 3 year olds)

-Read children's books to your child.  Point out pictures as you read.

-Allow your toddler to skip pages or focus on a favorite page in a book.  Since toddlers are very ego-centric, sometimes they may want to 'read' books in the ways that make sense to them.

-Don't try to force reading time onto a busy toddler.  If your toddler is too busy to sit down to hear a story, read aloud, using fun and engaging voices.  It is important for them to hear you read and they might even be drawn into the story and come on over!

-Have designated spots in the house for books that are appropriate for your toddler.  That way he/she always knows where to find books to read.  If you have older children, you may need to put thier paperback books up high and out of the hands of your toddler.

-Show your child that you also read (whether it be a book, the paper or a magazine)

-Keep the readings short and sweet.  Making reading a special time between you and your child.

Pre-Readers (4 & 5 year olds)

-Read aloud often.  A switch from simple text books (such as board books) to paperback preschool stories may be needed.

-Fit reading into your schedule.  Whether it be before bed, upon waking or before rest-time.

-Re-read stories that your child enjoys- it is great for comprehension and building a love of reading.  Even if reading that book over and over doesn't sound so fun to you!

-Allow your child to keep his/her books in a special spot in his/her room.  Build upon your book collection!

-Show your child that you also read (whether it be a book, the paper or a magazine)

-Give books as gifts to your child, showing him/her the importance of books in your household.

For all ages- head to your local library!  There is nothing better than picking a book out from the  thousands of books sitting on shelves and taking it home to be read!

Do you have any other ideas for creating a book-loving environment?  Please leave your ideas in the comment section below!