Snuggle Time to Support Our Kids’ Reading Skills
During the holiday season, it is important to take the time to snuggle with our children and reflect on all that is good in our lives. We can also help our children increase their reading readiness abilities by developing the following daily practices with each child:
Tips to Promote Literacy
- Take the time to read with each child at night after they are ready for bed. This daily practice provides our children with quality time that is so important for their personal growth. It also gives you an opportunity to check-in on what is happening in their lives and how they may be feeling about various daily stresses.
- Have your child select a book to read that may reflect an interest, a current challenge, or that he can easily read to you. You can also read a more challenging book to your child and have him read specific sentences or alternate reading each page in the book.
- Stop to look at the pictures, subtitles, and discuss:
- Who is in a story?
- Where does the story take place?
- When does the story happen?
- What is the problem being addressed in story?
- Why did it happen and what are the key events leading up to the problem?
- How does the problem get solved?
- Create flash cards of common words and define meanings of words.
- Relate the story to your child’s daily life and activities.
- Plan a family project or an activity that may reinforce significant learnings of favorite stories.
- Have older children read to younger siblings to showcase their literacy talents.
- Take your children to the library and have them pick out books that they are interested in even if beyond their reading abilities. Integrate these books into your nightly reading time.
- For children with little attention span, limit your reading time together to 10 minutes and then enjoy talking with them about the story. For older kids, you may find that they are fully engaged in this activity for an hour. If time is limited, allow time for them to read or look at books on their own and try to give each child 20 minutes of quality reading time.
- Make sure to incorporate new vocabulary words into your daily travels and discussions. Have your children practice their reading skills when reading traffic signs, menus, store advertisements, the newspaper headlines, etc.
Reflective Times with Each Child
Relish this wonderful bedtime ritual each day. You will nurture your children’s literacy skills, their passion to learn, and giving each child a loving moment when you can reflect and express gratitude for various challenges and growth opportunities.
Happy snuggle time with your children!
Copyright © 2019 by GenParenting
Ruth E. Cook, Ph.D. is a professor emeritus and was director of special education at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. Formerly, she was a professor director of two inclusive campus preschool programs at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles and at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. These experiences prompted her to be the lead author of Adapting Early Childhood Curricula for Children with Disabilities and Special Needs, now in its 10th edition. In addition, she is the lead author of strategies for Including Children with Special Needs in Early Childhood Settings and The Art and Practice of Home Visiting. While theoretically retired, she is busily involved in advocating for the inclusion of all children no matter their differences.