Make a Difference: Read to a Child

Learning to read begins before children start school. Children who start Kindergarten ready to learn how to read are more likely to be reading at or above grade level by the end of second grade. Learn what you can do!

Children learn best by doing—and they love doing things with YOU. Simple activities like reading picture books, drawing and writing, singing songs, playing games, and even talking have a big impact on your child’s learning. Use the language you know best as you spend time with your child. It will help your child get ready to read in any language! Look for opportunities to read, write, sing, talk and play every day!

Reading books together teaches your child new words and shows them what print is and how books work. When reading is fun, children become more interested in learning how to read themselves.

Writing, drawing, and scribbling are the ways your child learns that print and letters on the page stand for the words they hear when we talk. Handling small objects and using crayons builds the fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination that help children when they use books and write in school.

Singing songs gives children lots of practice hearing and saying rhyming words and breaking words into smaller pieces. Hearing all the sounds in a word makes it easier to sound out new words when they are reading.

Talking and listening are the first ways children learn about language. By talking with you, children learn the sounds of their language and learn about the world around them. The more they know about their world, the more they will understand what they read in books.

Playing gives children a chance to practice using the words they know. Play teaches children that one thing—like a blanket—can stand for another thing—like a cape. This helps children learn that the letters on the page stand for words and ideas.

Find out more about reading, writing, singing, talking, and playing with your

0-1 year olds  *  1-3 year olds  *  3-5 year olds  *  6-8 year olds