What reading experts say:
Reading books to children is a much more effective way to build vocabulary than family conversations or speech heard on TV or videos. Typically, an adult will only use nine 'rare' words per 1,000 words when speaking to a child under age five. There are three times as many of these less common words found in children's books than in everyday speech. When you read to your child, he or she hears more new words and develops a larger vocabulary more quickly. Hayes, D. and Ahrens, M. Vocabulary Simplification for Children: A Special Case of 'Motherese', Journal of Child Language.
"Rephrase and extend your child's words, ask a clarifying question (tell me more about the man you saw), model more complex vocabulary or sentence structure (yes, I see the tall skyscraper you built with lots of windows), and ask open-ended questions," says Susan Hall and Louisa Moats of Straight Talk About Reading.
What good readers know:
Good readers have a diverse vocabulary. They ask questions when they are unclear about what a word means, they use the context of a conversation or the action in a book to decipher the meaning of unfamiliar words and they use varied vocabulary in referring to familiar objects (this bird is big, but this elephant is gigantic).
What parents can do to help children Grow Up Reading™:
Read a rhyming book from the "Singing" booklist. Say or sing rhymes. Pick out rhyming words and talk about how the middle and endings sound alike. Say or sing a rhyme again and stop before a rhyming word. Have your child fill in the missing word.
Count the number of days in November. Count the number of weeks. Talk to your child about the number of days in each week and the number of weeks in each month.
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.
Read five books from the "Singing" booklist.
Activities - Singing:
- Visit The West Bloomfield Township Public Library to find books based on songs such as There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Baby Beluga, Old McDonald Had a Farm. Sing the books together with your child. It’s a great way for your child to act as if they were reading as well as learn a variety of new words.
- Download the hoopla app. Listen to music and have a dance party. Dance builds strength, agility, and flexibility, boosts confidence and problem-solving skills, and teaches kids about teamwork. It can also help children learn how to move their bodies to different types of music, which allows for music appreciation.
- Sing a song with a great tempo that you can speed up or slow down such as Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. Start off at a slower pace, then a little faster and the fastest you can sing at the end. It’s a great way to use coordination skills, but also keep a beat and tempo as you sing at a faster pace.
More Great Books to Read(click on a title to check for availability at the Library)