Activities to Support Healthy Brain Development
Children begin learning about sounds, letters, and words long before they are ready to read and write. Here are some simple ways to help build pre-reading skills in young children.
- Hold the baby in your lap while you look at pictures and read stories. Talk about what you see and encourage the baby to touch the book and point to pictures.
- Create a book area for toddlers using board, cloth, plastic, and other sturdy books. Use a rug or some pillows to make a cozy area.
- Create story boxes out of shoeboxes. Include a book and some toys that relate to that book. Use these toys to reinforce learning with the book.
- Stop by local businesses and collect items with the business’ logo on it. Show children one logo at a time as ask if they know where the logo comes from. Try to “read” each logo together.
- Read with children daily, even if a child chooses the same book each time. The repetition will enforce brain connections and strengthen pre-reading skills. Add new titles to the mix along the way for greater exposure to literary works and new language.
- Use puppets to tell a familiar story such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears or The Three Little Pigs. Change your voice for each character, and encourage children to try different voices as well.
- Play audio books during times in the car for your child to listen to and enjoy.