Promoting Education at Home

Five Things You Can Do to Support Brain Development

  • Talk with your child.
  • Read to your child every day.
  • Sing children's songs or nursery rhymes.
  • Feed your child well.
  • Provide a stable, loving environment.

Developmental Activities

Motor Skills

  • Imitation activities encourage visual attention and concentration as well as body awareness and control
  • Movements to develop large muscle control and coordination
  • Activities teaching about different parts of the body
  • Knowledge of spatial relationships helps to prepare children for following directions in school
  • Right-Left activities provide experiences that will firmly establish the concepts of left and right

Visual Skills

  • Activities to strengthen your child's ability to focus on and follow moving objects
  • Activities to help your child recognize similarities and differences in pictures, shapes, and everyday objects
  • Visual memory games will help your child improve their ability to remember what he or she has seen
  • Activities to encourage development and control of small muscles and to strengthen eye-hand coordination

Listening Skills

  • Activities to stimulate awareness of sound and sound patterns - important in the development of reading readiness
  • "How many?"
  • "Copy Cats"
  • Following directions, storytelling, and memory
  • "Putting it all together"

Speech and Language Development

  • Activities to help your child describe objects and events
  • Activities to help your child understand and talk about categories
  • "Go-together games" will help your child learn about word associations through seeing and talking
  • Sound activities will help your child develop articulation that is appropriate for his/her age

Easy Things You Can Do at Home to Raise Readers

  • Read to your child every day. Make it a special time when you both can relax, snuggle, and enjoy some good books.
  • Build a home library and fill it with your child's favorite titles.
  • Sing nursery rhymes and fingerplays to introduce an awareness of speech sounds and patterns.
  • Visit your local library on a regular basis and borrow a wide range of books and audio materials. Take part in activities the library provides for young children.
  • Use words to describe aloud what you are doing or what you see around your house and community.
  • Learning depends on repetition. It is good when children ask for favorites to be read again and again.
  • Encourage your child to "read" picture books to you.
  • Be a good role model by reading for enjoyment and information yourself.
  • When reading aloud, use lots of expression, different voices and sound effects when appropriate.
  • Read books that play with language such as poetry, tongue twisters, rhymes, and riddles.

Encourage Writing

  • Remember that your child's spellings will look unusual at first because pictures will stand for letters and then letters will stand for words and then sounds as they progress as a writer. For example, "s" may stand for silly, but "s" will soon stand for the "s" sound in silly when they can hear more sounds in the word.
  • Focus more on what your child is trying to write because accuracy is NOT the goal in preschool. The child's motivation and desire to write is what matters in at this stage.
  • Bring along paper and crayons everywhere you go - encourage drawing and writing what's happening around you!
  • Write notes to each other - put a note on a pillow or in a backpack.
  • Email a family member - note writing and typing emails will help your child recognize letters and learn how to organize their thoughts.
  • Write outside - use chalk or paint to create signs for things your child is doing during play. For example, make a grocery store sign together and label food with prices... you can even make an "open" and "closed" sign together!