What reading experts say:
Reading books to children is a much more effective way to build vocabulary than family conversations or speech heard on TV or videos. Typically, an adult will only use nine 'rare' words per 1,000 words when speaking to a child under age five. There are three times as many of these less common words found in children's books than in everyday speech. When you read to your child, he or she hears more new words and develops a larger vocabulary more quickly. Hayes, D. and Ahrens, M. Vocabulary Simplification for Children: A Special Case of 'Motherese', Journal of Child Language
"Rephrase and extend your child's words, ask a clarifying question (tell me more about the man you saw), model more complex vocabulary or sentence structure (yes, I see the tall skyscraper you built with lots of windows), and ask open-ended questions," says Susan Hall and Louisa Moats of Straight Talk About Reading.
What good readers know:
Good readers have a diverse vocabulary. They ask questions when they are unclear about what a word means, they use the context of a conversation or the action in a book to decipher the meaning of unfamiliar words and they use varied vocabulary in referring to familiar objects (this bird is big, but this elephant is gigantic).
What parents can do to help children Grow Up Reading™:
Read a rhyming book from the "Singing" booklist. Say or sing rhymes. Pick out rhyming words and talk about how the middle and endings sound alike. Say or sing a rhyme again and stop before a rhyming word. Have your child fill in the missing word.
Count the number of days in November. Count the number of weeks. Talk to your child about the number of days in each week and the number of weeks in each month.
Attend the Library's "Super Sing-Along" program this month. Learn some new songs and sing old favorites. Find program schedules at www.WB-Buzz.org
Read five books from the "Singing" booklist.
More Great Books to Read(click on a title to check for availability at the Library)
- Visit The West Bloomfield Township Public Library to find books based on songs (e.g., There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Baby Beluga, Old McDonald). Check out music CDs based on books or nursery rhyme CDs — then go home and sing them together.
- Check out a music CD from The West Bloomfield Township Public Library and have a dance party. Dance builds strength, agility, and flexibility, boosts confidence and problem-solving skills, and teaches kids about teamwork. It can also help children learn how to move their bodies to different types of music, which allows for music appreciation.
- There are many fun songs that promote a variety of skills. Going on a Bear Hunt or Jim Gill’s List of Dances are great songs that promote listening, exploration, singing, order and creative movement.