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Early Literacy Tips: Reading Aloud

Reading aloud to your preschool child is the very best activity you can do to help your child become a better reader when they enter school.  It is never too early to start reading aloud to your baby and growing their language skills.  When children are read quality children's picture books, they hear three times the unique vocabulary words than they hear in ordinary conversation.  Picture books like Karma Wilson's Bear Snores On will expose your child to rare words like dank, lair, coals, brew, divvy... 

Find a time when you and your child are both in a receptive mood and read aloud together.  Deeper involvement comes with asking your child open-ended questions about the story.  Questions like "What do you think will happen next?" or "How would that make you feel?"  Young brains are still creating their synaptic connections, so remember to give children at least 5 seconds to formulate their responses to your questions.

Keep track of your reading together by participating in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program.  Pick up a 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten folder at either Olathe Public Library and simply check off a shape for each book read.  Each time you read 100 books, your child will get a sticker and a new sheet of 100 shapes.  After 1,000 books are read, your child can pick out a free paperback picture book to keep as their reward.  But the real reward is the time you have spent with your child enjoying books and time together - priceless!

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