Reading Tips for Parents of Preschoolers
Read early and read often. The early years are critical to developinga lifelong love of reading. It's never too early to begin reading to your child!The tips below offer some fun ways you can help your child becomea happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See whatworks best for your child.
Read together every day
Read to your child every day. Make this a warm and loving time when the two of you can cuddle close.
Give everything a name
Build your child's vocabulary by talking about interesting words and objects. For example, "Look at that airplane! Those are the wings of the plane. Why do you think they are called wings?"
Say how much you enjoy reading
Tell your child how much you enjoy reading with him or her. Talk about "story time" as the favorite part of your day.
Read with fun in your voice
Read to your child with humor and expression. Use different voices. Ham it up!
Know when to stop
Put the book away for awhile if your child loses interest or is having trouble paying attention.
Discuss what's happening in the book, point out things on the page, and ask questions.
Read it again and again
Go ahead and read your child's favorite book for the 100th time!
Talk about writing, too
Mention to your child how we read from left to right and how words are separated by spaces.
Point out print everywhere
Talk about the written words you see in the world around you. Ask your child to find a new word on each outing.
Get your child evaluated
Please be sure to see your child's pediatrician or teacher as soon as possible if you have concerns about your child's language development, hearing, or sight.
Separation anxiety is a real issue for many children and their families, especially toddlers and two-year olds. Some children come bounding into the preschool classroom, and never know a stranger, but others need time to warm up and feel safe and comfortable in a new environment.
There are many practical strategies for helping children through these anxious times. Caregivers bringing children to the program should be honest, and make goodbyes brief and affectionate, using a positive tone of voice when saying goodbye. Classroom teachers often use distractions with fun, familiar activities and a comfortable routine. Matter of fact redirection, such as “here is a tissue to dry your eyes, or you are fine, let’s play with the truck,” helps children feel confident about their teacher. Bags full of “hugs and kisses” have helped some children. Strolling outside in God’s world often has a calming effect. And using a gentle tone of voice is soothing and inviting. Over time, a feeling of competence emerges in these young ones!
Childrens’ Hospital Tidbits recommends several books to help with separation issues. They include The Goodbye Book by Judith Viorst, I Love You All Day Long by Francesca Rusacks and Priscilla Burns, Even if I Spill My Milk? By Anita Grossnickle Hines, and Benjamin Comes Back by Amy Brandt.
Regardless, there is no substitute for loving persistence as teachers, home caregivers, and children work as a team to work through these early growing pains.
National Hand Washing Awareness Week
Infants and young children are at greater risk of getting sick because their immune systems have not fully developed. As child care providers, it is important to maintain a healthy learning environment. According to the US Centers for Disease Control, "Hand washing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of infection. Hand-transmission is a critical factor in the spread of bacteria and viruses causing diseases such as colds, flu, and foodborne illness."
December 7-13 is National Hand Washing Awareness Week and The Association for Early Learning Leaders urges you to help prevent the spread of infection by teaching and practicing the 4 Principles of Hand Awareness:
1. Wash your hands when they are dirty and before eating.
2. Do not cough into your hands.
3. Do not sneeze into your hands.
4. Above all, do not put your fingers into your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Information provided by: Smart Horizons, The Smart Choice in Early Childhood Education