Reading is a skill that you can’t develop overnight. It follows a process of learning small steps that grow in complexity and depth with age. Before a kid becomes a good reader, he first needs to develop pre-reading skills to understand the sounds, letters, words, and illustrations in books.
Pre-reading skills are an essential skill that can be developed in preschoolers and used throughout their lifetime. Decoding and reading words will help kids in school, their careers, and any other field they choose to pursue. As parents, it is our responsibility to provide opportunities for children to practice pre-reading in their early years.
We at Computer Kids Daycare understand that learning to read is not something that a child can achieve instantly. So, we have prioritized giving parents some activities that would help their children develop pre-reading skills
We have come up with 8 of the best pre-reading activities for preschoolers that are perfect preparatory exercises before reading time. Providing these preliminary lessons will allow your little ones to enter into reading with enthusiasm and not fear, so they can start developing the literacy skills they will need as they grow older. In addition, these activities will build essential skills and strengthen the bond between a child and a parent. Read on to learn more about our top 8 pre-reading activities for preschoolers.
What are Pre-Reading Activities?
Pre-reading activities are preliminary lessons that teachers can use to prepare a preschool child for reading.
The main pre-reading activity is to help them learn how to decode or pronounce words, which is the first essential step in learning how to read. If they are unfamiliar with the alphabet, you can teach them through fun games and activities. Don’t worry if your child doesn’t want to play these games on your first try because it takes time for kids to familiarize themselves with new things.
These activities should be offered at least one month before teaching the child to read through reading books. This way, your little learners can get used to what they will encounter once they start reading independently.
The Importance of Pre-reading Activities
The most important benefit of providing pre-reading activities for preschoolers is to instill a love of reading early.
Another advantage is that your little learners can develop a great interest in books and they’ll be more likely to ask you to read to them every day. In addition, if they have been exposed thoroughly to all the basics that will be used in the actual reading, they will have a better grasp of advanced reading skills.
8 Best Pre-reading Activities for Preschoolers
1. Recreate a Picture Book
Get a copy of your kid’s favorite picture book (buy an inexpensive copy that you can find at a thrift store) and separate all the pages and reshuffle it. Then, instruct your kid to remake the story from his memory by arranging the pages in the correct order.
If you find your child getting excited to do more, you may cut the text from the pictures. Then find out if he can match the text with the illustrations. Your kid may not recognize and read the words, but if given enough time to read the books together, your kid may recognize the form of the terms for each page.
Pre-Reading Skills Developed: Your kid will learn how to retell the story in order or sequencing.
2. Read to Your Kid
The best way to introduce your kids to cadence, words, sequencing, and fluency is to read to them every day. When reading books, pick up an old favorite of yours or choose a book your child would like. Then, read to them at bedtime and also any other time you have together.
Make this a habit, and it’ll soon be a custom in your family. Reading to your children builds a bonding experience, and it helps them discover that reading is something that they can both enjoy.
Pre-Reading Skills Developed: Print motivation or interest in reading books and vocabulary building.
3. Create Stories About Pictures
Ask your kid to tell you stories about random pictures available around, like family pictures or pictures from magazines. Encourage your kid to tell who the characters are and what they are doing. Let him know that there is no right answer and only tell a story out of her imagination. Then, to encourage him more, you can tell a story of your own.
Pre-Reading Skills Developed: Vocabulary building, narrative skills.
4. Create a Book of Environmental Print
Environmental print refers to the words, signs, symbols, and logos that kids see every time.
Encourage your kid to create his book of environmental print. Give him resource materials like magazines, newspapers, glue, safety scissors, and a sheaf of blank paper. Let your kid cut out familiar symbols and logos and paste them all into his book.
Pre-Reading Skill Developed: Letter and Print Awareness
5. Let Kids Play Sequencing
It is an exciting activity your child can play. You may need sequencing cards which you can buy in stores. Or, If you want to save costs, you may print sets of them yourself. Each card has a picture which your child needs to place in the correct order.
Once your kid is done sequencing the cards, ask him to tell the story. It may not always have the complete details, but it’s fun to witness what your kids come up with. Your child will learn that stories have a beginning, middle, and end.
Pre-Reading Skills Developed: Narrative Skills, Reading Comprehension, Sequencing.
6. Label Common Items at Home
For this pre-reading activity, you may use pieces of poster board to print the names of the items available in your home. Create two sets; one set is used to put a name for each item and giving the other to your kid for play.
Don’t pressure your kid to match the two sets. The main idea is to get your kid familiar with the look and form of the words of the items, eventually realizing the connection on his own. Once you do it regularly and your child gets used to the activity. Chances are he will develop and be able to recognize his words from seeing them around your house.
Pre-Reading Skills Developed: Vocabulary building, Print Awareness.
7. Let Child Play Word Games
Word Games let your kid experiment with letters, words, and sounds, which are all essential to learning how to read. You can play games with your preschooler like,
- I Spy: Use language-based clues for this game, like “I spy something that starts with D” or “I spy something that rhymes with a clock.” If your kid finds it difficult to understand, add more details, such as “I spy something that starts with “C,” and it is placed on the wall” (a clock).
- Word Families: Teach the kid to recognize the letters that make up words, such as “at” or “up.” Have kids create words that start with a particular letter and then mix and match them and create new words. For example, you can start with a word like “at” and ask your kid what other word can be created using the letters “at.” The answer will be a “hat.” It is a fun game to develop your child’s reading skills.
- Rhymes: Kids learn the sounds of words when they hear them in little rhymes like “coke” and “poke.” Try these rhymes with your kids. They can make up their rhymes, like “lunch” and “crunch.”
Pre-reading Skills Developed: Vocabulary building, rhyming skills, word recognition, phonological awareness.
8. Flash Cards
Flashcards are an effective method of teaching your kid to recognize and name letters. It’s a simple way of teaching the sound-symbol connection, which is essential for early reading.
In selecting the material, you have to be careful to match the difficulty level with your kid’s ability level. So it is because if you choose too hard or too easy materials, he’ll fall behind in learning how to recognize letters.
Pre-Reading Skills Developed: Letter and print awareness, Learning Alphabet/Letter names & sounds.
By introducing these activities, you’ll be helping your child build the foundations of literacy. There are many phonological awareness games and other print motivation activities out there, but there are some resources for you to start with. Kids enjoy doing these activities, especially if you involve them in selecting the materials and making up the game rules. And if they like it, they’ll keep doing it.