When it comes to reading, many parents are confused about what young children should be able to do at what age. Jean Ciborowski, a researcher and reading specialist at Children's Hospital, Boston, believes that three, four, and five year olds have a wide range of abilities. Dr. Ciborowski does not want parents to think that kids this age should learn how to read. Just to put things in perspective, she says, "Europeans don't expect children to read until they are seven years old." What she does suggest is for parents to play some fun pre-reading games with their kids. These word games will get them ready for reading later on.Game One -- Recognizing words that sound alike
If a child gets this it shows she understands the concept of like sounding words.
In general these games have to do with emphasizing the sound structures of words. Recognizing and breaking down a word's sound structure is one of the first steps in getting ready to read. Most four and five year old children can begin to understand that some words sound the same and some sound different and that words are made of different sounds.Game Two -- Recognizing Letters
You can use something as simple as a cereal box to expose your child to print and flex your child's letter knowledge.
When kids can do simple compound word deletions, this is the best indication that they will be able to learn how to read. If at age five or six a child doesn't get these deletion games Ciborowski says, "it may be a red flag that they may need extra help in reading later on because it's an indication that they have a difficult time breaking down a word into it's sounds - a step needed to learn to read.Game Three -- Breaking down compound words
This is called a compound word deletion. Most four and five year olds can do deletions and this is a sign your child is able to break down words.
By playing these games, and reading to your child, you can have a larger role in your kids' literacy development - you don't have to wait for the kindergarten teacher. But overzealous parents beware! Preschool kids are ready for these reading warm up games but in most cases are not ready to actually learn how to read. Play these games, and keep them fun. Your kids will enjoy making up their own versions, and you can take turns asking the questions. What a great way to warm up for reading later on.Game Four -- Breaking down sounds
Once a child gets the compound word deletions, they may be ready for more sophisticated sound deletions.
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