Why reading to your preschooler is important.

Literacy is a vital skill in our society yet it is a struggle for many children and adults. Reading with your children from birth gives them the best start for their brain development, early language and literacy skills.

Preschooler reading

Parents who regularly read to their preschool aged children are laying the foundations for significant cognitive and learning benefits in their child for schooling and education.

Many studies have shown that reading to children before they start school makes a significant difference in how well they learn at school, protects them from later reading problems, supports their vocabulary and cognitive development, and facilitates bonds between adults and children.

 
Parental reading to children at age 4 to 5 has positive and significant effects on reading skills and the cognitive skills of children aged at least up to age 10 or 11. So a small investment of 3 books a day now can make a big different for many years!
But what books should you read to your child?

 
Preschoolers love books that have humour, adventure and characters they relate to. Your preschooler is growing up and stories will help them understand new experiences and feelings. Be guided by their interests. Stories or factual books are all valid reading material. Books are a great way to discover the world. All children love predictable books, books that have a pattern, a predictable plot and lots of repetition.

Preschoolers playing

Preschoolers love patterns, rhythms and predictability.

When you read to your child, run your finger under the words from time to time as you read them. This will teach them that you read from top to bottom and left to right.

What do preschoolers need to know to help them learn to read?
Early literacy skills include:

  • Being able to recognise and name letters of the alphabet.
  • General knowledge about print, for example, which is the front of the book and which is the back, how to turn pages of the book.
  • The ability to identify and manipulate sounds.

Parents may also stimulate reading by their children through

  • buying children’s books
  • taking them to public libraries
  • talking about reading through the day and in everything you do
  • giving the example of reading yourself.

Some tips for when you are reading aloud:

  • Think about the words the author has chosen, and the rhythm, repetition or fun they have built into the story. Try to emphasise those elements.
  • Sound words – make them ‘sound like the sound’ so “clickety-clack” is sharp and short, emphasising the consonants, or ‘whoooosh’ is a long dynamic word.
  • Take your time, ensure each word is separated and easy to understand. Compared to when a child hears a song and learns the rhythm but can’t always distinguish each word, a child being read to should be able to hear each word in the story.
  • Follow cues from the words ie ‘up’ or ‘down’, ‘quiet’ or ‘loud’. Have your voice do the same.
  • Have fun and enjoy the special time with your child!

 

More online resources:

Reading to Young Children: A Head-Start in Life? Guyonne Kalb and Jan C. von Ours, Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series, Working Paper No. 17/13, 2013

http://www.better-beginnings.com.au/research/research-about-literacy-and-reading#Families as First Teachers

http://www.thelittlebigbookclub.com.au/ages-and-stages/preschoolers

http://www.thelittlebigbookclub.com.au/news/2011/reading-with-preschoolers

www.letsread.com.au/About/Why-Is-Reading-Important

Starting your family history?

Do you need help with starting your family history or just want some practical advice on how to overcome problems with your research? Need to find the missing names, dates and relationships in your family tree?

Experienced volunteers are available in Tea Tree Gully Library’s Local History Room to assist you with your family history research every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11am-5pm.

Should you have a large family tree to uncover, or you require assistance to perform a more detailed family history search, you can book a special one-on-one session with a volunteer on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Our volunteers can help you to research several key resources that form the backbone of any family history research, such as:

  • Indexes of births, deaths and marriages.
    You’ll find indexes but full certificates are held by the registry office in the State that the event happened.
  • Passenger lists
    Look for indexes and lists of passengers immigrating to Australia.
  • Convict records
    Find records about sentencing, transportation, where convicts served out their sentences and maybe more.
  • Electoral rolls
    See where you ancestors were living.

Come into the Library any time to make an appointment or give us a call on 8397 7333.

Environmental Care Show

One of the many school holiday activities this spring is the Environmental Care Show. Of course here at City of Tea Tree Gully we encourage everyone to recycle, reuse and be sustainable, but this show will present the messages in a fun and entertaining way to the youngest generation.

The show is put on by COOL 4 KIDS, an innovative children’s entertainment service developed by teacher and musician Tony Genovese and will feature Bella Butterfly and Digger Dog characters. Suitable for kids up to 12 years, the show will be interactive and tailored to the audience on the day.

The show is free to attend, but you will need to book a spot for each family member attending as places are limited. It all happens on Wednesday 8 October at 10.30-11.15am. Bookings open on Monday 15 September for this and all our Home Grown theme school holiday activites so click here on the 15th!

Recipe book review – Deceptively Delicious

Most kids don’t like eating vegetables, and there are a number of recipe books out there with ideas of how to hide vegies in food. Jessica Seinfeld’s book Deceptively Delicious is one of them, and it was recommended to me by a few other mums.

While it’s not a new book, and it is American so does have some different ingredients to how I would normally cook, but the basic principle is quite nifty. Jessica recommends pureeing batches of vegies and have them in the freezer, ready to add the purees to a range of yummy recipes. There is a range of main meals and treats to choose from.

I found a few recipies that would work for our family and photocopied them at the Library. I have since written on the pages to convert to metric measurements and Celsius, and my son has written some scribble on there to leave his own mark.

My early attempts at cauliflower puree in choc chip muffins went down well, and the carrot, banana and peanut butter muffins (below) have been eaten too.

muffins

Pretty sure these will be staples in our house for a while, and I will try a few more recipes.

3D printing is coming…for one night only!

In addition to face painting, games, the costume parade and prizes, we are very excited to announce that Fab Lab Adelaide will be doing a 3D printing demonstration at the Summer Reading Club (SRC) Investigation Finale Party.

To join the party, grab a SRC pack from the Library, read  10 books or submit a book review, and book your spot! There will be prizes for best Investigation costume, raffle prizes and also science demonstrations. Hurry, the party starts Wednesday 22 January at 5pm.

Summer Reading Club Logo

In car entertainment for your driving holiday

If you and the family are heading off on a driving holiday this summer, or even a day out, and want to ward off boredom and endless games of ‘I Spy’, take a look at the audio book collections in the Library.

Books on CD and MP3 are available for kids and adults, with titles ranging from Storytime with Peppa Pig to My Sporting Life: Sir Jackie Stewart. They can be borrowed for up to 4 weeks, so grab a few to have in the car and keep everyone amused.

audio booksAnd if you run out, you could always borrow more from the public library at your holiday destination, if they are part of the One Card network, and return them here when you get home!

Giggly Kids Christmas Musical Performance

Celebrate the Festive Season with the Giggly Kids Christmas Live show at the Tea Tree Gully Library. Enjoy your favourite Christmas songs such as ‘Silver Bells’ and ‘All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth’ as well as Giggly Kids originals for you to sing and dance along to on Tuesday 20 December at 10.30 am. Suitable for primary and pre-school aged children. It’s free but bookings are essential so call the Library on 8397 7333. Ho ho ho