Learning to read isn’t merely about reading books. For a child to fully grasp and absorb all facets of learning – reading included – it is vital to develop their ever-growing, sponge-like brains using a vast array of activities, tasks, and games, designed to help their grey matter work more efficiently, and, therefore, more effectively. In short, boosting their overall development is the quickest way to boost reading skills. So, in today’s article, we’re going to furnish you with five fun activities you and your toddler can do together to get their highly-receptive neurons firing on all cylinders.
Five Activities To Boost Reading Skills and Development in Toddlers
#1 – Singing Together
If there’s one thing that should be encouraged, it’s exploration and experimentation of language; luckily, children seem to love to do both of these things! Exploring and experimenting with language helps them not only learn new words but also understand the sounds that letters and words make and their meanings both in general and in specific contexts. So, whenever you get the chance, having a sing-song with your little one. It doesn’t matter what you sing about, just do it. Sing, rap, rhyme, shout, whisper – do it all!
#2 – Sketching and Painting
While drawing, painting, and creating art may not be directly related to learning to read, they are great tools for developing eye-hand coordination, as well as control. Plus, it’s really fun and is a perfect way to spend time bonding with your toddler. Allow your child to experiment and explore creating art using different methods, materials, brushes, pencils, crayons, chalks…and anything they want to use to draw and paint. Furthermore, painting is a perfect way to relax and unwind. It’s not only adults who get stressed; children do too; therefore, sketching and painting is a highly beneficial way to develop their brains further, enjoy time together, and relax – the perfect triumvirate some would say!
#3 – Creative Games
Hands-on games are another superb way to enhance fine motor skills, develop hand-eye coordination, and control – all of which contribute to making your toddler’s brain more efficient, which can help to facilitate quicker development in other areas of learning – including reading. Here are a few examples of games and activities you can play:
– Use modelling clay to create sculptures, giving your child the freedom to create absolutely anything they want to.
– Threading beads (or other similar items) on string or wool.
– Playing dot-to-dot with a pencil or solve simple mazes.
– Play with a jigsaw and discuss which pieces might go where and why.
#4 – Read Books Together
There’s no way we could write a list of fun activities that can help to boost reading skills and development without including reading! Read every type of book you can get your hands on – text-only, text and pictures, picture only, pop-ups, poetry, informational – anything and everything! Give your child the freedom to make book choices as they’re more likely to want to read books they’re interested in, but don’t be afraid to give them a nudge in a certain direction if you want to expand their reading exploration a little further.
#5 – Numbers
Numbers, letters, and words are all inextricably linked; therefore, talk about numbers all time, no matter how young your little one is. Like words, numbers surround us from the day we are born, be in on the television, on car registration plates, in books, so it’s crucial to acclimatise your child to the world of numbers from day dot. Wherever you are, point out numbers. On doors, menus, buses…anywhere and everywhere!