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What reading experts say:
Hearing the different sounds that make up words is one of the most important pre-reading skills. Understanding that words are combinations of sounds helps children break the code between spoken language (sounds) and written language (words). It is important for incoming Kindergartners to be able to hear and differentiate sounds in words.

Words that rhyme, more than non-rhyming words, help children distinguish the smallest parts of speech - called phonemes - that make up words. Once children are aware of sounds within words (phonological sensitivity), they can blend sounds together to form words and then read words.

Use nursery rhymes and rhyming games to help children focus on sounds, and use sounds to make words. Help children develop their listening skills so they can more easily differentiate one sound from another.

What good readers know:
Good readers know their nursery rhymes. They can recite familiar Mother Goose rhymes, begin to create their own silly rhyming songs, make up rhyming pairs in made-up rhyming games ("I like to eat peas while sitting on my knees") and clap a steady beat as they recite familiar rhymes.

What parents can do to help children Grow Up Reading™:
Week 1:
Attend one of the Library's virtual storytimes. These storytimes promote reading, singing, dancing, counting, talking and movement. Check out the Library's event calendar for more details.
Week 2:
Practice counting up and down. Start with the first day of this month and count all the days to 31 and then count back down to 1.
Week 3:
Read five books from the "Reading" booklist.
Week 4:
Choose a book from the "Reading" list. As you read, point out important words to draw your child's attention to the printed words. Ask your child to find a few words based on the beginning sound.

Activities - Reading:
  1. Choose a book about your favorite character such as Pete the Cat, The Cat in the Hat, Elephant and Piggie, The Pigeon, or Fancy Nancy. Children relate to books and characters they love or can relate too. Read many books by the same author but also branch out and read a book from our new arrivals too.
  2. Let your child hold the book, point to the words and tell you what they think is happening in the book. They might remember based on memory, or they might use their imagination to tell you a different story. Either way they are using great vocabulary, early literacy skills, and imagination.
  3. Play I-Spy with the letters. Look for a specific letter each day. “Today, our mystery letter is P, look for the letter P as we drive to the grocery store.” “Did you see the pineapple? That starts with P.” Children will get excited to become part of the shopping experience while interacting with your shopping list.

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