Have Fun with Books!
December 13, 2012
Working in a library, I am particularly drawn to kids and their books. There simply is nothing sweeter than a toddler enjoying a book, “reading” the book, with the story that is in their head. This picture of a friend’s child popped up in my realm, and I simply fell in love with it. She was so engrossed in this book, Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See?, by Bill Martin, with artwork by Eric Carle. The author’s other book, Polar Bear Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, was sitting right beside her, waiting in the wings. This little girl reminded me of the importance of early literacy as she so obviously enjoys her “book time.” She got me to thinking. What exactly does early literacy involve, and how do I instill the same love of books to my little ones?
Early literacy is what children learn about the written word before they are able to actually read and write. A child’s literate journey begins long before Kindergarten and the learning of sentences on the page. A child’s relationship with the written word can begin as young as birth, as a parent plays, talks, rhymes, reads, sings, tells stories, and points out print and letters all around.
One of the major keys to early literacy, based on the 6x6 program developed by the Kansas library, is to have fun with books. Kids just want to play and have fun. So, instilling a love of reading means making books fun as well. How do we do this? Let them “read” to you, take books with you on the go, and include books with their toys. Soon enough, our little charges will be sitting and enjoying their books just as much as this little one.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- As I have mentioned above, brings books with you on the road. As you are standing in lines or sitting in the waiting room, this can be a good way to keep your children occupied
- Let them read to you. They will know their favorites by heart, and unfamiliar books will allow their imagination run wild. They can bring you on their own adventure.
- Books with things to find in the pictures are great for literacy. Thy are also a wonderful way to get them involved in the details of the story.
- The Library has wordless books, search and finds, and other wonderful picture books to help keep a wide variety of reading in front of your children, and it’s an economical way to find their new favorites..
- Try making a book for them, or help them make their own book with themselves as the main character.
- Repetition is a valuable way to help children learn phrases and recognize words. So, be encouraged as they ask you to read THAT book one more time. It’s not just to drive the parent up the wall, they are learning to recognize the print.
And last but certainly not least for this time of year, books make a wonderful gift. There are fabric books for the infants and board books for toddlers to handle on their own, as well as picture books to cuddle up with during bedtime story reading.
So happy playing and happy reading.
North Oak Branch