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What reading experts say:
Hearing the different sounds that make up words is one of the most important pre-reading skills. Understanding that words are combinations of sounds helps children break the code between spoken language (sounds) and written language (words). It is important for incoming Kindergartners to be able to hear and differentiate sounds in words.

Words that rhyme, more than non-rhyming words, help children distinguish the smallest parts of speech - called phonemes - that make up words. Once children are aware of sounds within words (phonological sensitivity), they can blend sounds together to form words and then read words.

Use nursery rhymes and rhyming games to help children focus on sounds, and use sounds to make words. Help children develop their listening skills so they can more easily differentiate one sound from another.

What good readers know:
Good readers know their nursery rhymes. They can recite familiar Mother Goose rhymes, begin to create their own silly rhyming songs, make up rhyming pairs in made-up rhyming games ("I like to eat peas while sitting on my knees") and clap a steady beat as they recite familiar rhymes.

What parents can do to help children Grow Up Reading™:
Week 1:
Attend one of the Library's storytimes. These storytimes promote reading, singing, dancing, counting, talking and movement. Check out the Library's event calendar for more details.
Week 2:
Practice counting up and down. Start with the first day of this month and count all the days to 31 and then count back down to 1.
Week 3:
Read five books from the "Reading" booklist.
Week 4:
Try a new genre of books. Picture books, non-fiction or easy readers provide a great introduction to the many types of books at the library.

Activities - Reading:
  1. Preschool aged children are developing an awareness of sounds and words. Many soon to be kindergarteners can recognize and make rhymes. They can list words that begin with the same sound (bear, ball, big), or end the same such as (bear/chair, dog/log, cat/hat). They are learning phonics skills, relationships between letters and sounds, and learning to read. Ask your child, “What starts with the letter “B”?” Big, Boy, Ball, Bear, Buffalo.
  2. Your child may be recognizing some words or letters. Put pictures and words around your house to label things. These will give these objects a word association. You can also get magnetic letters for children to play and manipulate.