Pre Reading

DECEMBER Pre-Reading Activities

The Pre-Reading content area has a Standard 3 that encourages the demonstration of early reading skills. Benchmark 3.5: Develops/comprehends stories. “The love of reading needs to be caught as well as taught.” Create special books full of fun memories to instill the love of reading.


Collection of Christmas books

Check at Christian Book store

Ask grandparents to add to the collection.

Be sure to date the front flap of the new book and have the children write their names. It will be fun to enjoy each stage of your child’s development.

Create a fun basket or box to pull out each year that holds your ever expanding collection of Christmas books. Bedtime routines can begin to include Christmas stories. Our family begins Thanksgiving night with the first Christmas book of the season. After a few years of this tradition, bedtime is looked forward to because of time spent reading “old friends” from the past.

If you have several children, place the smallest one on your lap, with the others around you. Make everyone warm and comfy by covering up with a favorite quilt.

1 year-olds will begin to listen to bedtime stories while you rock them. Point out pictures he may recognize.

2 year-olds may begin to draw some meaning from the story and the pictures they see.

3 year-olds might enjoy acting out the stories and telling them to others.

4 year-olds can recall information from the story along with the sequence of the events. They can also begin to understand the beginning, middle, and end of the story.

Check page 204 in your
Tools for Motherhood textbook for some suggestions for Preschool toys. If grandparents are asking for a gift list, give them these ideas so they can add to your “teaching tools.”

The following activities are listed in the Reach Out and Read National Center Site under the column called “What a Parent can do.”
6-12 Months
• Hold child comfortably at a face-to-face gaze (you are helping to build attention span here).
• Follow baby’s cues for “more” and “stop”
• Point and name pictures in books that they may be familiar with as well as some new ones
12-18 Months
• Respond to child’s prompting to read
• Let the child control the book, show them how to turn pages correctly
• Be comfortable with toddler’s short attention span (3-4 1/2 minutes)
• Ask “where’s the…?” And let child point
18-24 Months
• Relate books to child’s experiences
• Use books in routines, bedtimes
• Ask “what’s that?” and give child time to answer
• Pause and let child complete the sentence
24-36 Months
• Keep using books in routines
• Read at bedtime
• Be willing to read the same story over and over
• Ask “what’s that?” and wait for them to answer
• Relate books to child’s experiences
• Provide crayons and paper
3 years and up
• Ask “what’s happening?” in the story
• Encourage writing and drawing
• Let child tell the story
4-6 years**Other sources
Look for books at the library that focus on things happening in the Spring time:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Frog and Toad are Friends
The Tiny Seed
Rain by Peter Spier
Make Way for Ducklings
Are You my Mother?
Old MacDonald Had a Farm
Remember reading is not just “taught”; the love of reading can also be “caught” by your showing them how much fun reading can be and the wonderful world that is opened up in their mind as stories are read to them.

There are many good resources where we can glean information to guide children during the early years so they can build a strong foundation for learning. Most of the time we look to the State of Kansas Early Learning Guide lines; but for this month, we will take a look at Developmental Milestones from the group called “Reach Out and Read” from the Boston University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics.

Before a child “learns to read,” he can be taught the art of “loving to read.” A well-loved book, like a well-loved blanket, can bring routine and stability to a child. Some books explain new adventures that they might be trying, like "Ezra sleeps over." It is a book about what happens when one spends the night at a friend’s. Other books may be like a friend that they want to visit every night for 2 weeks by having it read and reread to them. They may even role play the story during the day. For small babies, books provide a photograph that the parent can point to and say the name of the picture. This is what I call “labeling” the child’s environment by putting a name to a picture or object. No matter what the age, books can become a great tool in the life of the child, especially when books are read on a daily basis. Try to include a couple of books each day in your child’s bedtime routine, no matter what their age.

Visit your local library or children’s book store for a book your children would enjoy concerning the first Thanksgiving. If possible, have your child help to choose the book. Be sure and date the front inside cover.

Here are some simple guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics about selecting books for different ages.
Infants usually like books
• With photos of other babies
• That are brightly colored to touch and taste
• With photos of familiar objects like balls and bottles

Toddlers usually like books
• That are sturdy to carry
• With photos of children doing familiar things like sleeping or playing
• About going to sleep for bedtime
• About saying hello and good-bye
• With only a few words on each page
• With simple rhymes or predictable text
• About animals

Preschoolers usually like books
• That tell stories
• About kids their age
• About making friends
• About going to school or to the doctor
• About having brothers or sisters
• That have simple texts they can memorize

**Resource from the Literacy Toolkit, American Academy of Pediatrics, 6/16/2009.
TOOLS FOR MOTHERHOOD GRADUATES share the activities they are doing at home.
Zoe’s been really curious lately about rhyming and even spelling and reading. It’s been fun. She’ll ask me in the car just out of the blue… “does T start with Tree mom?”… meaning does tree start with T? But she’s learning the sounds and she can easily spell 3 letter words just sounding them out and even can read some of the words.

3 Year Old-- Read a book & bring to life By Kahle, Graduate of TFM 7-week workshop

We read a book about different, shapes, sizes and colors of beads and then we made a bracelet out of beads and a pipecleaner. Kaihtlyn was so proud of herself for making the bracelet on her own.

To bring the "book alive" by creating a fun activity around what we had read, we created a bracelet like what we had read. We had tried putting tap onto the end of yarn at first, but the beads would not go over the tape. A pipe clearner worked well for her to thread the beads onto. With all the beads on the pipe cleaner, I dont have to worry about it breaking. : )

Recommendations: Yes, helps small motor skills. : )

1 1/2 Years Old & 4 Years Old This is an activity that I got from a friend that encourage "reading" in very young ones. Since little ones love to see pictures of babies then this is perfect. So I had Zoe collect things around the house that were certain colors each day for a week then I dressed Lexi (baby sister) in that color and took her picture. Then I put them online at and ordered a color book of Lexi. I also labeled the different pages/colors in both upper and lowercase letters so Zoe can "read" the letters in the colors and she quite often reads this book to Lexi and spells the words for her. Looking back, I think I would have liked to have done it when Lexi was younger and maybe do two or one page/color for a month so at age 1, she would have the book and we would see her grow. This is a great activity to teach and watch growth in our little ones. -- Heather

3 Years Old I made a worksheet to have Kaihtlyn trace the dots and work on Left to Right concepts. She still hasnt mastered the tracing concept yet without my assistance. She still wants to draw everywhere. This will help strengthen bounderies when working with paper and drawing. This activity helps to teach the child control when drawing. I like the fact that it teaches fine motor skills and teaches L to R. --Kayle

4 1/2 Years Old So we have this old rocking re-cliner chair that no longer has legs. So we put it in the playroom for the girls. I added some throw pillows and a blanket to cuddle with and added a basket next to it on the floor filled with books. Zoe now gets to go upstairs to the playroom to go to her book nook whenever she needs some space and uiet from little sis. Its been a lot of fun and she's using it a lot now. It's been a great retreat for her and less refereeing needed between the girls for me. : )--Heather