Articles and Advice

10 Tips for Parents of Young Children

1. Read aloud to your child every day

Read to babies even before they can talk

Let your child see and touch the book

Play with voices and the sounds of words


2. Create a print-rich home environment

Have a wide variety of books available to children

Encourage children to look at books on their own

Set aside a family reading area and a family reading time


3. Model reading and writing

Make use of the family reading area on your own

Let children see you reading for work or to learn something

Let children see you reading for pleasure


4.  Use grocery shopping to encourage reading

Have children help you search for specific brands

Use the aisle markers with your child to find items

Match coupons to products


5.  Cook with your child to develop literacy

Show your child how to read a recipe

Read the labels on ingredients together

Make a family cookbook of favorite recipes


6.  Explore books together

As you read, point out important features about the book

Ask your child questions 

Point out new vocabulary


7.  Tell stories together

Talk together about your family history

Look at old vacation photos, and discuss your memories of the trip

Tape your storytelling


8.  Sing and rhyme with your child

Choose songs with rhymes and word play

Play rhyming games (e.g., what other words sound like monkey?)

Challenge your child to sing or say rhymes as fast as he can


9.  Write with your child

Provide lots of writing materials: chalk, markers, crayons, and pencils  

Encourage your child to draw and write on her own

Encourage your child to write thank you notes to grandparents


10.  Visit the library often

Make weekly trips

Encourage your child to get her own library card 

Take advantage of library programs such as read alouds and family book clubs


Advice for New Parents

Got Tips?

Do you have a reading tip you'd like to share?  Send an email with your name, city/state, child's age, and tip to
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