- Shared reading
2. Label thingsReading doesn’t just have to be with a book. You can improve your kid’s reading and vocabulary by labeling objects around the house. Many kids love this interactive element. If you’re also trying to kill two birds with one stone, you can label the cleaning equipment too to see if they develop a hidden passion for cleaning the room. Other than labeling objects around the house, there are other ways you can implement ‘labels’ - turning on captions. While it might be wise to reduce screen-time for your kids, we understand how difficult it has been to do so during COVID. So, if TV time is simply unavoidable, turn on the captions for some extra added learning.
3. Nursery Rhymes & Short SongsMany parents underestimate the power of nursery rhymes. It doesn’t help that many of these cute songs were written centuries ago, sometimes containing antiquated words that aren’t even used in the modern world anymore. That being said, the rhyming patterns that are found in nursery rhymes are often useful building blocks in learning new words. If nursery rhymes don’t tickle your fancy, find other modern short songs that make use of rhyming structures in their lyrics. When combined with simple melodies, kids find it much easier to retain these patterns subconsciously. Research has shown that music helps children acquire words even when they don’t understand them. If you’re stuck at home, make them a playlist on Spotify containing all the children’s songs you listened to yourself as a kid. In the event the repetitive melodies don’t drive you nuts, sing along with them for some extra fun.
4. Read non-fiction to your kidsMany parents also believe that non-fiction books are too challenging for children, and perhaps, there are some topics that are out of grasp for the developing mind of a four-year-old. However, there are plenty of non-fiction children’s books out there that are great for creating a strong knowledge foundation in your kids. There are many children’s books about non-fiction topics that can be delivered to your home, a popular genre being books that display pretty pictures of animals and plants that also teach your kids basic biology information. By creating more background knowledge in your child, they will also have an easier time learning new concepts.
5. Don’t be afraid to use big wordsMany teachers have noticed a word gap, or a difference in vocabulary between different children when they enter school. Researchers found that a crucial factor contributing to this word gap is that some children have more regular conversations with adults, while others are spoken to in too much of a “dumbed-down” fashion. Your kids are smarter than you may think – so don’t be afraid to use big words when talking to them. You can always explain their meaning, and the more often kids hear new words, the more likely they are able to pick up on their meaning through context.
6. Encourage story-telling and creative fictionA simple way to promote literacy at home is to tell your kids stories, and also encouraging your kids to tell you stories. This will help them gain a better understanding of the ins-and-outs of narrative storytelling. In the long-term, sparking their imagination with stories will also help them with more complex fiction and stronger social skills. If you simply don’t have the time to read with your kids or tell them stories, another way to pass creative fiction down to your kids is by playing them audiobooks. Audiobooks are an accessible way to access the same content as physical books, and for kids with ADHD, it may be an easier way to engage with them as audiobooks can often be more evocative. You can create a playlist of your favorite audiobooks on Spotify, and reduce screen-time at the same time by playing these stories on Jooki.
7. Model behaviorWhile this may seem obvious, if you truly want to encourage literacy at home, make sure to model that behavior at home. Set aside time to reduce your own screen-time and sit down with a good book. This type of modeling will be powerful as children get older and are able to read independently. They’ll see how they can incorporate reading into their daily lives even as other activities demand their attention. P.S. you may want to get your kids a Jooki to help you play nursery rhymes and audiobooks from Spotify, with no screen in sight. To find out more, visit our homepage.