When a child turns four years old, they can come into any Christchurch City Library and pick up a free Ready for Reading pack. The pack contains a special bilingual, purpose written book Storytime Te Wā Kōrero, and stickers.
Download the Ready for Reading booklet [1.44 MB PDF]
There are six important skills that your child will need to learn to read. Children can begin to develop these skills from birth.
- Print motivation: interest and enjoyment in books.
- Vocabulary: beginning to know the names of things.
- Print awareness: noticing words on a page and understanding how to follow them, knowing how to hold and treat a book.
- Letter knowledge: recognising and naming letters, recognising letter sounds.
- Phonological awareness: awareness of sounds and rhymes and beginning to understand the link between written and spoken words.
- Narrative skills: describing things and events, learning how to tell stories.
Tips for sharing books
- Talk, sing or make noises with the pictures.
- Let the child turn the page.
- Show the front of the book.
- Create voices with the characters.
- Use child’s name or other, for the characters.
- Ask questions about the pictures and story.
- Make your own books.
- Make it a regular time.
Visit these pages for more information and resources to use at home
How to read to children
What you need
- Children’s books
- Position yourself so both you and the children are comfortable.
- Allow your listeners, especially younger children, a few minutes to settle down and get ready to hear the story.
- Mood is an important factor in listening. Create anticipation.
- Use plenty of expression and change your tone of voice to fit the dialogue.
- Adjust your pace to fit the story. During a suspenseful part, slow down, draw your words out and bring your listeners to the edge of their seats!
- Be enthusiastic. Read stories that you enjoy yourself – your dislike will show if you read books that you don’t like.
Why create readers?
- Readers are better writers.
- Readers get better jobs.
- Exposure to early reading experiences can increase IQ.
- Good readers acquire second languages more easily
What makes a good reader?
- Reading aloud to a child from birth.
- Modelling reading daily.
- Exposing them to books and stories.
How to help children love what they read
- Set an example – read what you love and love what you read.
- Slow down and find the time.
- Read aloud.
- Have books in lots of places.
- Don’t turn it into a vocabulary lesson.
- Read a variety of books.
- Go to the library and discover…
- BusyThings - Access colourful, quirky and fun games and activities for 3 to 11 year olds. Designed to entertain and educate. Use at a library or enter your library card & password / PIN.
- TumbleBook Library - Access to an online collection of animated books which teach kids the joy of reading. Use at a library or enter your library card & password / PIN.
- Starfall - bright colours and animations bring the alphabet to life. Includes sign-language.
- Online games with Inky and Gus - entertaining stories and engaging activities that explore a variety of essential early literacy skills.
- Kidspot Learning milestones - help your child master reading, writing and spelling with with these articles on the world of words, including spelling words, games and fun learning tools.
- Creating a reader-friendly home - suggestions from KidsHealth.
- Have Fun Teaching - worksheets, flash cards, videos etc to help you teach your kids to read. A mix of free and pay-for content.
- Montessori language materials - beautiful materials to liven up your language area! Includes fun activities, word study, story writing cards, and more!
- Reading is Fun - information and advice about encouraging reading in children.
- Reading Resources & Help for Ages 3-5 - expert advice and tips for raising a successful reader at every age and level from Scholastic.
- Reading Rockets - U.S. multimedia literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help.
- 10 Kindergarten Readiness Skills Your Child Needs
Photos from the Ready for Reading launch
Photos from the launch at Aranui Library, Wednesday 13 May 2015.