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As your child grows older, they will get better at hearing and matching the sounds of words and letters. For instance, they will get to know that the words "cat" and "car" start with the same sound. When you read stories with them, they will begin to see that sounds can be shows as letters and words.
Phonics is a word used to describe the sounds that the letters of the alphabet make. Getting to know the sounds of the letters will help your child to read and spell in the future. Here is a song that will get your child used to the look of the letters of the alphabet and the sounds they represent. Make it fun to listen to the song and join in when you can.
And for a bit more learning fun, get them listening and matching other sounds with this online game from Literactive. Help them with the computer mouse if they need.
Reading aloud combines the benefits of talking, listening and storytelling within a single activity and helps to build the foundation for language development. From stories your child learns many things such as how to listen and concentrate, new words and understand why things happen. They also learn to put ideas in order, develop their memory skills, notice how spoken words relate to words on the page and learn how to predict. Reading gives your child a chance to develop their own opinions, build visual skills and learn how to handle books.
If you can spare 10 minutes a day to read with your child you can make a huge difference to their development. You don’t have to read a book, you could read a comic, magazine article or a story you have made up yourself. The most important thing is that you enjoy it, that way your child will too.
Remember a good storybook is one that you the reader and your child find interesting. It might be funny or entertaining. Ask yourself whether your child would enjoy it and be able to listen to it. Are the pictures well drawn? Is it well written? Do you like it? You may be the one reading it, over and over, and over!
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