Reading and sharing books with kids is a powerful kindergarten readiness activity. Did you know that kids who have been read to at home have a “brain-bank account” of about 5,000 books by the time they enter school? Just picture how much that will help in learning to read. These kids already know:
- how a book works. There’s a front, back and middle.
- what books do. Books tell us stories and explain things.
- pictures match the story and information.
- story structure. Usually stories have a beginning, middle and end. Sometimes there is a problem that gets fixed.
- letters and squiggle marks tell us the story. Books have talking that’s written down.
Since these posts are about rocks, I’ve been looking for some titles to suggest. I can hardly wait to check out this one at the library and share it with some eager little ones: If Rocks Could Sing, a discovered alphabet, by Leslie McGuirk. This is an alphabet book, but each letter is a real rock and so are all the objects. It took the author over 10 years to find and collect all the rocks! For b there is a b-shaped rock and one that looks like a bird, and so it goes for every letter. This sounds like a fun book to read and families can start their own stories with rocks that they find anywhere.
Reading and sharing books and stories for a few minutes a day, a few times a week is all it takes. Kids who do not have exposure to books and stories are almost at rock bottom in comparison. Or to put in another way, think of Olympic athletes and how much training they need to do to be at the top. Sharing stories and books with your kids is like training for learning to read. The brain is a ‘muscle’ and it needs exercise, too. In the spirit of the Olympics, do you and your child have some time to read together today? What books and stories for learning and fun can you share?