What better time of year to celebrate the joy of reading? There’s nothing like coming in from the snow and cuddling up on the couch with a blanket and a good book while sensation returns to your fingers, toes, and nose! And, since you can begin building literacy skills right from birth, reading is a fabulous family activity!
There are many simple things you can do every day to encourage reading and literacy in your family, and the five early literacy practices listed below are a great way to encourage a life-long love of learning and literacy in young children:
Talk: Talking to children helps them learn about language and teaches them new words.
Sing: Along with being a fun way to bond, singing helps children hear syllables and words, and also develops memory and listening skills.
Play: Imaginative play is a great way for kids to learn how the world works!
Write: Your child’s scribbles and drawings have meaning to them, and are the first step in your child to recognizing that letters and words have meaning.
Read: Children who enjoy being read to are more likely to enjoy reading on your own, so grab a couple of your favourites, and let your child pick a few books that catch their eye as well!
Regular trips to the library are another great way to help your child associate books and reading with fun! Our free Pre-School Programs are a wonderful way for you to bond with your child, and provide an excellent opportunity for them to socialize with their peers. The next upcoming registration date is Friday, March 11. For more information about these programs, please pick up a copy of the library newsletter, At The Library, available at all branches.
Of course, you can find many excellent books to read while you’re at the library. Not sure what kind of books you should be looking for? You can find tips for choosing picture books here, and staff at any of Winnipeg Public Library’s twenty branches would be happy to help you find some titles of interest! It’s also an excellent idea to let your children pick out some books that catch their eye. Don’t worry if they want to read the same book over and over again. The repetition will help them learn to associate the words you say with the letters written on the page, and you might be surprised at how quickly they are able to quote the story at you (those young minds are amazing things)!
Winnipeg Public Library will also be launching a brand new children’s card and an “I Love my Library” booklist at our Take Your Child to the Library Day on Saturday, February 6, to help you get “I Love to Read” month started off with a bang! This will be a day of fun family performances and activities at all of our branches, so make sure to check out our newsletter for details, or head into your nearest branch to see what they have planned!