Developing Early Literacy July 08 2008

Perhaps no early learning skill is more important than reading. Kids’ self esteem and sense of accomplishment from learning to read is a key milestone in early childhood development!

There has been plenty written about how important it is to read to children beginning at an early age, storytelling, and games involving rhyming. Learning to read also becomes much easier when parents and teachers help kids associate letter sounds with letter names.

Typical learning activities to help kids learn letter sounds can include pointing to magnetic letters on a white board or refrigerator, etc. and helping them identify the letters by the related sounds each letter makes.

Reading begins with learning the alphabet, which can be greatly accelerated by tools like The Spelling List Magnetic Letter Set, Beginning Sound Sort Cards and Quercetti Magnetic Letters.

Every primary school teacher knows that vowels are the hardest letter sounds for kids to learn since the sounds vary with the usage of each vowel. You can start by working with short sounds like "a" as in "sat" instead of the letter name "a" as in "name", the short sound "e" as in "fed" instead of the long letter sound "e" as in "read", etc.

It is amazing to hear a kindergarten-age child sounding out various letters as they tackle this extremely difficult milestone of learning the various sounds of each letter in the alphabet.

Once your child has learned the alphabet, they are ready to begin learning how to connect 2 or 2 letters together to form simple words. Word sort games and activities are critical at this stage in the process of learning to read. Our Basic Literacy Kit includes all the tools needed in your early literacy learning center, including magnetic lapboards, alphabet letters, letter tiles, magnetic sight words and much more.

Click on any of the topics in our Reading section to find hundreds of great ideas, tools, tips and guides on how to teach kids early reading skills!