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Early Reading Building Blocks

Deborah Sharp Libby
How can I best support my child’s literacy development? This is a question many parents contemplate. Studies show that children need to be immersed in a print rich environment and involved in a variety of meaningful and enjoyable literacy experiences. Reading researchers and early childhood experts agree that these experiences are essential in supporting children’s early reading development. Adult support also plays an important role. Ensuring that children enjoy some type of daily literacy experience is something everyone can do. Here are a few early reading building blocks parents can put into action at home.

Promote and support your child’s interest and love for reading by sharing a variety of great children’s literature. Read to them often and let them read to you even if they are pretending. Read with expression and encourage your child to read with emotion and expression too. Talk about the books you read together and make connections to your own experiences and feelings. Each experience is valuable supporting young children’s awareness and eventual mastery of important concepts of print, comprehension and book handling skills while also building vocabulary. Setting aside time each and everyday to enjoy a good book or two is a great way to spend time with your child and help them view reading as an entertaining and enjoyable activity.

Promote your child’s “Print Awareness.” Help them become familiar with and learn the letters of the alphabet. Read alphabet books pointing out letters as you go. Play with alphabet magnets and blocks identifying letters of the alphabet and words that begin with those letters. Help your child spell simple words. Check out Vtech’s electronic learning toys like Cogsley the Robot. Cogsley identifies letters and spells words providing young learners with exposure to all the letters of the alphabet.

Promote your child’s Phonological Awareness. Phonological awareness refers to knowing the sounds that letters make, identifying the letters that make the beginning sounds in words, rhyming words and knowledge of syllables that make up words. Rhyming is an excellent way to promote your child’s phonological awareness. VTech’s “Brilli the Imagination Ball” is the perfect pal for little hands. Engaging and interactive, Brilli loves rhyme time providing many examples of word pairs that rhyme. Have fun rhyming with Brilli and enjoy other interactive activities as well such as counting, following simple directions and playing Hot Potato.

Parents who set aside a little time each day to enjoy books, play and learn about the letters and sounds of the alphabet and the sounds that they make lay an important foundation supporting their children’s learning as their literacy skills grow and develop.
Meet VTech's Expert Panel
Deborah Sharp Libby
Early Childhood Language and Reading Expert
Eric Klopfer
Platform Learning Expert
Lise Eliot
Early Childhood Mental Development Expert
Helen Boehm
Psychologist, Author, and Parenting Resource Expert
Carla C. Johnson
Science and STEM Expert
Francis (Skip) Fennell
Mathematics Expert