This is the age where reading is becoming more of what we would think of when we think of reading and teaching reading. All the tips I have previously shared about infants and toddlers is still relevant though. Just keep building upon the foundations you have created.
They are still not ready to read more than likely and that is absolutely okay. Moving your finger across words as you read them is now more important. They are starting to grasp that letters make up words. Each time you point to a word they will start to distinguish how words are made up and spaced. When they are ready to start reading, they can then easily follow along with their finger and find each individual word.
This age group will ask the most questions. They want to know every ‘why’ and ‘what’ that is happening with the illustrations and the story line. They want to know things that aren’t even brought up in the book. This is awesome because they are expanding their minds and thinking beyond just what they are being told or shown. They can start thinking more abstractly as they get older. Books are a great kick off point for this type of thinking. These are great ages to also ask them lots of questions throughout the story and see how much they can recall.
Going on a picture walk with a new book is awesome. They will get to tell you their version of the story from illustrations alone. Then after you read you can compare how much of the story lined up with their version. Here at YSA we do this in depth weekly. We pick one book to really focus on. This has really changed our student’s way of looking at books. They now have deeper understanding of how much a book can really provide them beyond a short story time. By the end of each week our children are now able to tell us book titles, author names, parts of a book, story lines, character names, settings, and they can compare and contrast with similar books or authors.
Opening up this kind of reading at your house is simple. Make an adorable book nook for your house. It could be as simple as pillows and stuffed animals in the corner of your child’s room surrounded by their books. Or it could be as elaborate as you creating a space in your home and refurbishing furniture into reading chairs. I have seen some very cute things made from old furniture with some sanding, paint, and a cushion.
Keep on reading to those babies! And one day soon you will experience them reading to you!
Lead Pre-Kindergarten Teacher