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What reading experts say:
Expose your child to a wide variety of books and authors. Reading and discussing different types of literature - such as fantasy, folktales, poetry and nonfiction - promotes cognitive development in your child, according to an Education Resources Information Center Digest publication entitled "Helping Children Understand Literary Genres." Reading widely gives children an opportunity to identify similarities and differences between genres and authors.

When children become familiar with the features of different types of writing, they will know what to expect from different types of reading materials.

What good readers know:
Good readers certainly have favorite books and will read them often. Good readers are excited about all books and are receptive to reading a diverse selection of titles: nonfiction, fantasy, realistic stories and funny stories. Good readers like to choose their own titles but also ask librarians for new and interesting books during their visits to the library.

What parents can do to help children Grow Up Reading™:
Week 1:
Go to the Main Library and play with the alphabet letters, blocks and more. Does your child know all her letters? Can your child spell his name and other simple words? You're almost done counting the days until kindergarten. Pick up your complimentary book at the Main Library or Westacres Branch and celebrate! Read details in the Parent Guide.
Week 2:
Read five books from the "Playing" booklist.
Week 3:
Use paper, pencils, crayons and markers, and other items around the house to "play" school.
Week 4:
Count the number of days until kindergarten begins. Mark off each day and count down to the first day of school.

Activities - Playing:
  1. Play a new game. Choose a board game or an outdoor game to try. Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, Uno, Skip-Bo, Hop Scotch, or Hoola Hoops are all great choices. It allows children to learn about taking turns, winning and losing, sharing, and being a good sport. Children will learn how to strategize as well. Hint: Allow your child to experience both winning and losing as part of the game playing process. It’s all part of life. It helps with self-confidence, self-image, and learning to problem solve.
  2. Allow your child to go on independent play dates at a friend’s home. This will allow your child some independence and self-exploration. It also teaches great language skills because they will have to ask for needs such as the bathroom or a drink.
  3. Participate in pretend play with your child and take cues from your child. Play house, you can be whoever your child directs you to be. You might be the “baby,” while your child is the “Mommy.” Be creative and act it out!
  4. Play games such as Freeze Dance, Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes or Simon says to promote following direction and learning body part names.

More Great Books to Read(click on a title to check for availability at the Library)