Inculcating reading habits in pre-schoolers.

Reading is an exercise for the mind. It helps children calm down and relax. It opens up doors to new knowledge and enlightens their minds. Children who read frequently grow up to have better cognitive skills. 

Reading skills are also important to their success in school, as it allows them to access the breadth of the curriculum and improves their communication and language skills. 

In addition, reading can be a fun and imaginative time for children creating an exposure to different experiences, cultures and various emotions. 

Parents play a crucial role in a child’s interest in reading. Here are a few ways in which you can steer your child towards getting interested in books- 

  1. Keep a stash of colourful and attractive books.
  2. Keep the books easily accessible for your child.
  3. Read with your child.
  4. Do not be forceful about reading.
  5. Be a good role- model.  

Let us explore these methods for parents to get their child interested in books- 

  1. Keep a stash of colourful and attractive books- Children get attracted to books with bright and bold pictures. 

Books with simple, two, three and four-letter words will be easier for children to read and recognising alphabets and words. 

You may even explore auditory and tactile books to grab your child’s interest in exploring the books for themselves. 

Slowly they associate the pictures with the words. 

  1. Keep the books easily accessible for your child- Remember to keep the books handy in places where the child usually plays. Please do not keep the books in bookshelves or cupboards where children cannot reach. 

A child should be able to access the books at any time when he or she is in the mood to read. 

  1. Read with your child-At first children cannot read by themselves. Pointing words helps children understand the movement of sentences from left to right. It also helps them slowly grasp frequently used words or similar sounding words. They get accustomed to grammar, sentence formation and word formation, creating the base for further reading. 
  1. Do not be forceful about reading- Reading is a pleasurable activity. One should introduce it slowly and gradually with a good intention so that children love the activity. Forcing it upon them creates a feeling of dread towards the activity.   

Some people recommend creating a reading ritual, such as reading during bedtime or during dinner. However, one must be careful while doing so. While some children accept routines easily and find them comforting, some others might get bored easily. 

Follow an approach that best suits your child’s personality and likings. 

  1. Be a good role- model- Children need to see their parents reading frequently. Children copy elders in their family. When children see their parents reading often, the act comes naturally to them. 

Little Aryans Pre- K, Nandivali the best pre-school in Kalyan was judged No.1 in India, Maharashtra and Thane for “Reading Culture”.  

Some ways how Little Aryans, Nandivali enhances children’s reading skills are- 

  • Little Aryans have different Learning Centres,i.e. Alpha centre, Math Centre, Theme centre, LDP Center and Hindi Center and in each centre, we have created the reading corners. 
  • The children are free to go at the reading corners any time and pick up a book and read. We also have a library where children are free to read a book.
  • The children are also given books at home every weekend to read.

During remote learning sessions- 

  • The parents were asked to create the learning environment for the child. They created the learning centres at home. In the LDP centre, the parents created a small library. The child had to select any book and read it. 
  • The children did picture reading while the teachers showed them the pictures online and the children identified it.
  • Recap of words was taken in the play way method.
  • Different techniques were used to develop the reading like the pinwheel reading, learner board, etc.
  • Forms were created in which the children had to read the sentence and tick on the correct sentence.
  • Stories expose children to a wide range of words. This helps them to build their own vocabulary and improve their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they start to read.

Reading increases their exposure to the language. Spending time in reading the books will be engaging and fun for the children.