Many people were surprised at the idea of me starting a children’s bookstore with the rise of the kindle and the ipad, but I believe this is exactly the right time to re-create a love of books and reading in today’s youth!
Early literacy is so important and it sets the stage for all later learning. From birth to 5 years old is the time when a child’s brain in undergoing the most growth and development. Reading to and with a child in these critical years builds skills that are key to literacy. Literacy means being able to read and write, but it also means being able to speak, write, hear and read with comprehension.
BOOKS AND COOKIES goal was and continues to be to instill a love of reading by creating a fun, safe and interactive space to bring the wonder and excitement back to the pages of a book. By targeting non-school age children, we are helping parents develop the skills, attitudes and habits needed to make reading and writing enjoyable.
Parents, you are your child’s first and most important teacher! Here are some helpful tips to help with literacy at home.
LITERACY TIPS FOR BABIES:
Your baby begins building his/her vocabulary in the first few weeks of life. It’s never too early to start reading to your baby!
TALK. Your baby is like a sponge, taking in everything you say and becoming familiar with words used everyday. Talk to your baby during daily routines: bath time, feeding, play time, diaper changing.
SING. Even if you are not a great singer, your baby will think you are a rock star! Babies love the sound of your voice and you don’t just have to sing children's songs. Sing your favorite tunes from the radio, as well.
SEE AND TOUCH BOOKS. Surround your baby’s new world with brightly colored board books to touch and taste. By seeing and touching books with words and pictures, your baby becomes familiar with reading and having books around. Don't worry about baby eating her books. Infants learn about their world using their hands and their mouths.
MAKE READING A DAILY EXPERIENCE! When a child is very young, it is the sound of your voice, not the words that they love. Babies like books with photos of other babies and books with pictures of familiar objects like balls and bottles.
LITERACY TIPS FOR TODDLERS:
Toddlers are always on the move. Keep reading, talking, singing and playing and keep up with your developing toddler.
READ, TALK AND SING. Learning is everywhere! Point out letters and words where ever you go. Reading to your child is not limited to books. Read street signs, cereal boxes, junk mail, billboards and newspapers. Talk about the activities you and your toddler do. “Time for a bath. Let’s wash you arms.” Remember to include songs with your toddler's routine. Toddlers love simple songs like “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Peek-A-Boo.”
BOOKS EVERYWHERE. Keep books, magazines, pictures and their own drawings around where toddlers can see them. All babies love homemade books! Draw pictures, cute out things from magazines, paste family photos and make your own library of books!
MAKE READING A DAILY EXPERIENCE! Have a special, cozy place where you can read together. Roar like a lion, squeak like a mouse and read your stories with great feeling! Let your toddler turn the pages. Point to pictures and ask questions: "What's that?" and "Where is...?"
LITERACY TIPS FOR PRESCHOOLERS:
Provide fun ways to keep your preschoolers literacy development growing.
TAKE TURNS READING. When you are reading a story, ask open-ended questions. “What do you think will happen next?” Let your preschooler read with you and fill in the blanks. Be sure to choose books that have storylines that are easy to guess. Again! Again! Children love to read the same book over and over again, even if you think they have outgrown it (or you are tired of hearing it).
HAVE MATERIALS AVAILABLE. Make sure there are a lot of books, paper, pencils and crayons for preschoolers to use every day. Preschoolers will notice different words and try to write the letters and words they see.
MAKE READING A DAILY EXPERIENCE! Have a set reading time when you and your preschooler read out loud every day. Bedtime is usually a good time for a good snuggle and to read together.
LITERACY TIPS FOR BIG KIDS TO TWEENS:
As children get older they begin to bring together their abilities to listen to and talk about stories, understand print and use language that is rich and meaningful.
MAKE IT FUN. Play word games together like eye spy or create a scavenger hunt. Cook together and follow a recipe. Play make believe games or create stories and write books. Print out pictures from a magazine and use them to tell a story. The ideas for making reading fun are endless.
HELP WITH HOMEWORK. Homework-time is a good time to catch up and connect with what your school-age child. Ask questions about the day: Any new friends? What did you eat for lunch? How was music?
TURN OFF THE TV! Did you know the average 6 year old watches more than 5,000 hours? That's more time than it takes to get a college degree.
"Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”
By Chudney Ross
Owner, Author & All Around Book Lover