Fun and Games
"Learning to read should not be an academic endeavor," stresses Sullivan. "All pre-reading activities should be kept playful."
For example, she suggests singing rhyming songs, reading favorite stories over and over, or playing games which challenge children to find objects with similar sounding names.
"Children pick up reading skills all kinds of different ways," says Joanne Stone-Libon, director of the Headstart programs in Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop, Massachusetts. "In our Headstart programs we like the children to have input into what our teachers are reading to them. We ask them to talk about the stories and pictures. It creates a connectedness, and the more involved they become the more fun they have."