Read aloud together every day. Talk about the pictures. Ask questions. Read with expression. Let them choose books and turn pages. Share a variety of books based on your child’s interests. Make connections to your child’s life experiences so stories become meaningful. Place children’s books throughout the house. Let your child see you reading recipes, letters, books, magazines, newspapers, instructions, and emails.
Have conversations with your child. This develops healthy relationships as well as language, vocabulary, and literacy skills. Visit during regular activities at home, in the car, at the grocery store, and walking in the neighborhood.
Play and build things together. Children will draw, write, and use scissors in school. Build the muscles in his fingers and hands by providing crayons, paper, puzzles and small toys to take apart and reassemble. Build with blocks. Join in pretend play, such as being doctors, teachers, or firefighters, writing food orders, and dressing up in costumes.
Encourage your child to do things on her own. Help her practice putting on her coat, washing her hands, and putting her clothes out for the next day. Praise her for helping with simple daily chores.
Accept your child’s feelings. Teachers will expect your child to use words to express his feelings. Use a variety of words to express your own emotions so that he will learn to do the same. Show him how to express his feelings so no one gets hurt.
Keep your child healthy. Provide your child with healthy snacks and meals. Play games that encourage your child to run, climb, jump, catch a ball, and dance. Get enough sleep. Schedule regular medical and dental check-ups.
You are your child’s first teacher. You lay the foundation for future learning and healthy relationships when you read, talk, sing, and play with your child in the early years.
Take advantage of community resources. Visit the library regularly. Participate in parenting classes and support groups. Attend activities for families with young children. Explore parks, the fire station, the post office, and an apple orchard or pumpkin farm. Ride the bus. Investigate preschool options.