5 Easy Ways to Boost Early Reading Skills

My nine-year-old daughter CAN NOT put down Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Her eyes gulp down the words while her imagination dives into the depths of the wizard world. It’s the 11th time she’s made the same journey, not counting the first time we read the book out loud together. So when did her reading skills take flight?

She wasn’t a born reader—no one is—but a love of reading can develop early (and the earlier the better). My daughter’s love of reading began practically at birth, certainly long before she heard the name Harry Potter, and it 100% had to do with integrating these easy reading development tips…

5 Ways You Can Boost Early Reading Skills at Home

Start reading early. Your child loves to hear the sound of your voice. For a newborn , snuggle up with a picture-based board book. For toddlers, grab a board book that’s easy for them to hold. Whatever their age, take your time and talk about what you see on the page. They’ll respond in their own way and look forward to that special bonding time with you.

A dad boosts early reading skills with his toddler by letter her flip through the book.Let go of expectations. Reading with little ones might seem chaotic for grownups, but it’s a big multisensory learning experience for them. Babies may prefer to stick a book in their mouths or toddlers may not sit in your lap. Here’s the thing: they’re not supposed to be still. Children learn through all senses, so tap into that with the books you read.

Be open to reading the same story…a lot. Again? Yes! Repetition and familiarity are key to early cognitive development, so even if you’re so tired of reading the same book about snakes or ballerinas, go for it. Your child is soaking it in!

Turn up early reading skills by turning on the music. Actively participating in musical activities supports early literacy development by increasing a child’s ability to process sound, introduces them to new vocabulary, imbeds the rhythm of spoken language, and boosts comprehension skills—all foundational reading skills.

You don't have to be a children's music teacher to use Kindermusik.

Choose stories with rhymes. Being able to hear and identify words that rhyme is the earliest phonemic awareness ability. That is just a fancy way to say that you understand that words are made up of different sounds (phonemes), which is essential to learning to read.

Did you know reading is part of almost ALL Kindermusik classes? Get some extra tips on boosting early literacy skills in a live virtual or in-person Kindermusik class.

Originally authored by Lisa Camino Rowell, a freelance writer in the Atlanta area. 

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