Top Ten Ways to Nurture a Literate Child

Top Ten Ways to Nurture a Literate Child

The abilities to read, write, listen, and speak are skills that are developed over a lifetime, but they are skills that, when valued and encouraged early in a child’s life, make achieving all other goals far easier. As a parent or a teacher, facilitating these suggested activities will encourage children to build their abilities in these areas through making the most of everyday activities. Lifelong learners are readers, but well-chosen activities support a student’s ability to read because they build students’ background knowledge, making comprehension easier. Enjoy!

  1. READ!

cereal boxes, candy wrappers, comic strips, magazines, newspapers, maps, and yes, BOOKS!

  1. Talk!

wordless picture books, ask questions, ask for more information, ask for opinion, tell stories,

put on puppet shows, do finger plays, tell stories with felt pieces, read signs, sing, tell jokes

  1. Listen!

taped stories, CDs of music or poetry, value child’s answers, explore ideas further, respect opinions

  1. Write!

shopping list, bills, poems, stories, post cards, friendly letters, business letters, e-mail, letters to editor, family journal, holiday cards—with typewriter, pens, markers, pencils, computer, letter stamps, chalk

  1. Draw (and color or paint)!

ANYTHING! Limited only by supplies on hand—water colors, tempera paint, finger paint, plain paper, construction paper, stationery, stickers, poster board, and “shelf” paper

  1. Observe and record the world!

as you are driving, comment on the traffic, the new restaurant, the budding trees, the busy squirrels, the cute puppy, and comment on current events, OR make a scrap book of pictures, keep a log of a bird’s nest with eggs or of seeds you plant

  1. Play games!

board word games, like Boggle and Scrabble, both of which come in “Jr.” versions; word games like “My uncle owns a grocery story and in it he has . . .”; letter games like “Snow Man,” board games for directionality like Candyland and Life; games of logic like Chinese Checkers and chess; card games for following directions like “Go Fish” and “Rummy”; paper games like Tic Tac Toe and “Connect the Dots”

  1. Do puzzles of all sorts!

jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, word searches, Rubric’s cube, origami

  1. Do chores of all sorts!

sort laundry, match socks, make cookies together, put something together (like a bike—following the directions), dust (writing in it first, of course), wash windows

  1. Explore the world!

zoo, art museum, parks, beach, neighborhood, airport, gardens, theater,

pick a local fruit of vegetable, eat with chopsticks, play in the sand

Suggested by Dr. Alexa Sandmann of Kent State University, Kent, Ohio USA

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