7 Teacher-Recommended Preschooler Reading Activities Both Parents And Kids Can Enjoy"Teaching is a joint responsibility of the school and the family."by Jocelyn Valle . Published Aug 1, 2022
When children reach the 3-year-old development milestones, they start to learn basic academic skills, such as reading. They are now preschoolers who are curious to explore books on their own, retell a familiar story, sing the alphabet song with help, recognize the first letter in their names, and so on.
That's why parents are encouraged to engage their little ones in, for example, reading activities for preschoolers that can be fun for both parties.
"Children learn from environment," says longtime preschool teacher Monalisa C. Abarrientos, quoting the Italian educator and innovator Maria Montessori famous for the method of teaching that bears her name.
Abarrientos teaches at the Maria Montessori Preschool (MMS), which, she tells Smart Parenting in an email interview, has provided an exceptional experience for all Saskatoon City Area children for 25 years. Saskatoon City is located in the south-central Saskatchewan province of Canada.
She explains, "Adults promote the learning process by serving as the dynamic link between the environment and the child. So, parent’s involvement in the learning process in Montessori education program is very important. Thus, teaching is a joint responsibility of the school and the family. Continuity between the school and the home."
Reading activities for preschoolers
Abarrietos points out that "reading is such a complex task, so the concept is presented gradually allowing the child to build her understanding incrementally."
She then recommends, based on Montessori Language Arts by North American Montessori Center, these reading activities that parents can do with their preschool children at home:
- Reading to children aids development of oral language, cognitive skills and reading comprehension.
- Children enjoy listening to stories that are recounted with joy and enthusiasm. They take pleasure in learning words at hearing the subtleties of language.
- Action words written on cards that introduce the idea that words can indicate movement.
- It is a good exercise that makes learning to read engaging and interactive. The child reads the word or phrase then acts it out, like charades or parent and kid can choose to do the action together.
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- Words used frequently and recognized instantly when reading, and or unfamiliar more difficult words.
- It helps the child to focus on the new and more complex words. It can build confidence to the child and helps the kid more fluent reader.
- Parents can find ways to use the sight words more fun and interactive. For example, hopscotch sight words, high five sight words or puddle jumping sight words, treasure hunt sight words and more.
Label the environment
- Labelling the home can help children to associate words with a real object.
- It enhances the child’s literacy. In everyday life, allowing the child to interact with texts helps to consolidate his/her literacy skills. Print rich environment promotes develop skills and plays an important role needed for reading.
Sound games/Sound pouch/I Spy
- Sound games are activities that focus on the sounds that make up speech or words.
- The purpose is to make the child aware of the separate sounds. Through the sound games the child learns to identify the individual sounds at the beginning, middle and ending words. To practice initial sounds of words, to develop oral communication and enrich vocabulary.
Matching words to objects, and vice-versa
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- Using written or typed words and objects accordingly.
- Using the context of the objects to assist in reading and understanding the meaning of the written words.
Reading booklets/Word lists
- Words or phrases or short simple sentences in every page of the booklet (depending on the reading level of the child).
- To understand that a written word is a group of blended sounds represented by symbols that make up a word.
- Understanding the combined meaning of the words in the phrases and sentences.
- To learn the mechanics of reading.
Tips for parents
When giving reading activities to your preschoolers, you may find these suggestions by Abarrientos helpful:
- Be engaged joyfully! Kids know when you’re not into it.
- Be interactive
- Be creative
- Be fun
- Make reading part of your everyday with them.
- Read aloud to your children at every opportunity because reading distinctly is vital to developing children’s language and promoting a love of reading.
Also keep in mind the following:
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- Children get thrilled in stories about characters who have experiences and routines like their own. Choose books that center on familiar practices but present new ideas and support children’s natural curiosity by reading books about new people places and things.
- Topics about emotions can flicker helpful conversations about feelings.
- Realistic stories are preferable for young children. Fantasy stories such as fairy tales are better suited for when they are older.
- Stories that use words in a funny way or in which something unexpected occurs help children build their own understanding of language and develop critical thinking skills.
- Introduce the book by title, author and illustration.
- Examine the cover and discuss what it may tell them about the book.
- Suggest things the children can listen or look for while you are reading.
- Encourage predictions about the story based on the illustrations.
- Pause periodically and ask questions like, “What do you think will happen next?”
- Prompt children finish repetitive or predictable phrases.
- Discuss the story after you have finished reading. Help children connect the story to their own experiences.
Additionally, Abarrientos says repeating stories (or repetitive reading), especially the books your children love, will make such reading activities for preschoolers a lot more enjoyable, too.
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