In an earlier blog I mentioned learning to read those first personal words by using the ‘Scrapbook method’. That is how I learnt to read! It involves gathering together anything important to a young child, in a homemade book, and writing clearly related words in lower case script alongside each entry. Many more early word games and activities can follow on from this.
More scrapbook activities
If your child enjoyed creating ‘My first book’ you could make similar books with the themes ‘My pets’, ‘My house’ (with the book cut out in a house shape), ‘My family and friends’, ‘My garden’, ‘My holiday’ etc. Each child could then make a library, and share the books with family, friends, and his/her teacher, when starting school. Putting books together like this will naturally flow from the child’s own world and interests.
This is called a ‘learner centred’ approach to reading. At school later on, teachers have many children to attend to, the process of learning to read becomes more formal. Your child will want to please you, as you will them….so work on the books together. Have fun, cutting and sticking….but remember, it is your child’s book, not yours!
Word games can follow on from this. As your child grows and develops he or she will begin to realise that each individual written/printed word has meaning. Using the Ladybird Key Words Flash cards, which print the 100 most used words in the English language, you can play many simple games. These include ‘Snap’ or ‘Pairs’, ‘Lotto’ or ‘Bingo’ , a ‘Treasure Hunt’, ‘Reading Rhymes’, ‘Fishing for words’ to name but a few.
Remember that as your child grows, you can point out to him/her, that we are surrounded by written words….from the back of a cereal packet, to road signs, the name of the street or town where you both live. Following simple recipes, or being helped to read simple instructions for a game, will help the child to understand that learning to read has a sense of purpose. Learning to read the days of the week, months of the year and numbers are helpful too.
Obviously reading, and later writing, their own name is the most important, and your child should learn it with a sense of pride.
All of the above will help to unlock the door of learning to read, for a lifetime of satisfying activity.