Listening and evaluating clues from verbal directions is a skill that helps preschool-aged children gain meaning from the content of a book or story. Giving them opportunities to practice this skill will help them comprehend what they read or see. Making up riddles for your child is a great way to exercise his mind to develop this skill.
Make up riddles for your child to solve in the car, in the tub, or around the house. They can, at first, be related to your location so your child can pick up on visual cues, but as your child gets better at solving them, they can be more obscure. For example, if you’re in the bathroom, you could say, “You squeeze me. I clean your hair” (shampoo). Or “I am shaped like a pencil. I help you clean your teeth” (toothbrush).
Getting your child to think about the characteristics of an object helps him think about what makes things unique. This activity will help with comprehension, listening, memory, attention span, and following directions.
Once your child gets the hang of it, have him make up riddles for you!
Children will begin the process of learning to read long before they are actually reading. Asking your preschooler to help you sort the mail is a fun, interactive way to boost those pre-reading skills.
Ask your child to sort the mail into different categories. These categories might include magazines, letters, envelope color, type of stamp, size, or person whom the mail is for. This process of sorting helps with sorting, classification, and letter recognition. Experiment with different ways to sort the mail, and your child can even play “postal worker” by delivering the mail to the appropriate person in the family.
Let your preschooler open the junk mail and pretend to read it to you. See where her imagination takes her. You can also have her fill out forms (often junk mail comes with order forms) or circle all of the “red” items in a catalog. All of these tasks help boost reading skills and help boost confidence and enthusiasm for reading.
We recently set up a “post office” in our dramatic play area. The students wrote letters, read mail, delivered packages to each other, sorted mail, made and pasted stamps, and categorized mail by type. They had a fantastic time and didn’t even realize they were boosting their pre-reading skills in the process!
At the beginning of each school day, our students are invited to play. They choose from several activities that rotate on a weekly basis depending on the concept we are teaching. Students can stay on one task, or they may rotate to all of the stations as they wish. Some days, all of the children work on something together, and other days, they work individually.
A staple of our morning invitation to play is our literature basket, which is simply a laundry basket with a book, a pillow, and some related items inside. It’s a cozy place for a student to curl up with a good book. This special, unique place encourages reading because the students are eager to explore the basket and settle in. It’s perfect for a time when a child just wants to relax, have fun, and experience literature in a whole new way.