Before starting to read, pave the way
Activities that children consider entertaining, or that are part of their daily routine, can play an essential role in stimulating their reading. A good example is the learning of poems and songs, so that the child gets acquainted with how words sound. Other examples include telling stories and reading tales, involving the child in activities related to books and arousing his/her curiosity. Another way of learning to read is to expand previously-learnt vocabulary, by explaining the meaning of certain words or pointing them out every time they appear in the text. Our point of interest is dictated by the child, we never put any pressure.
Learning to read
There are activities that focus on the child’s ability to memorize the letters and their corresponding sounds, and put them together to obtain syllables and simple words. A few examples of such activities are the following games:
Letter shape and sound: We can write some letters on pieces of cardboard, then hide them all over the room and require the children to find them. There are two versions. The first, the simple one, implies hiding a single letter and asking the little one to read it when he finds it. The other version involves hiding several letters and finding the one that the mother, father or teacher has named.
A very popular game among children implies writing a letter with the finger on a friend’s back and let him/her guess what letter was written.
Building syllables and simple words: Can be done since the children memorize the letters, until they are able to build syllable trains and blocks, so that they will eventually form words.
Once the basic abilities have been acquired, practice and a little persistence on our side shall do the rest. The road to the exciting world of reading and culture has only begun.