Little kids loved to be read Dr. Seuss books and Dori Chaconas books because both authors are masters of not only rhyme but of rhythm. It turns out our kids’ little brains are biologically wired to listen for the parts and patterns of their home language as away to prepare for speaking, reading and spelling. This is called phonological awareness and it develops as we we expose them to books, rhyming, word play and singing. At 4 and 5 years old, phonological awareness is a potent predictor of reading acquisition.
One way I developed phonological awareness with my little one was through word games we played in the car, as she rode in the grocery cart, right after reading time and before bedtime and, or in the bath. She loved the games so much, I produced an 8-minute film called “Raising Readers” which shows how children play word games with one another and their parents. If you have a pre-k child, invite your child to watch along with you to learn the word game!