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Guest Post: Celebrate National Literacy Month! Seven Simple Steps to Developing a Healthy Reading Routine With Your Child

Parents know just how important early reading is to their child’s development.  In fact, a recent “Back-to-Preschool” national survey conducted by KinderCare revealed that 78 percent of preschool parents surveyed believe reading is important for kindergarten readiness. Fortunately, there are many things parents can do at home to create a “literacy-rich” environment, help their child grow vocabulary, and establish a love of reading.

Just in time for National Literacy Month this September, KinderCare’s Senior Director of Education Programs, Megan Riede offers seven simple steps to encourage early childhood literacy.

  1. Be a reading role model for your child by reading newspapers, magazines and books of your own
  2. Establish a routine time and place for reading. Try to set aside at least 20 minutes each day to read with your child
  3. Invite your child to select books to read and before you begin a new book, engage your child’s imagination by reading the book’s  title and asking your child what the story might be about
  4. Allow your child to hold the book, see the illustrations and turn the pages
  5. Pause periodically to ask questions about the text to help your child develop comprehension
  6. Read the same books over and over again. Children love repetition and they delight in being able to “read” along when a book becomes familiar to them
  7. Make reading a relaxed, fun activity and eliminate distractions such as television, music, and phones

“We always say that it is more fun and rewarding to read with your child – not to your child,” says Riede.  “Reading together – even starting when children are  just days old — can help young children develop basic yet very important pre-reading skills including vocabulary development, listening and making connections between letters and sounds.”

A team of KinderCare preschool teachers and development experts have also provided a suggested reading list for parents and children to celebrate National Literacy Month:

Titles for Infants

  • Happy Baby Animals by Priddy Bicknell
  • Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert
  • The Silly Shapes by Sophie Fatus
  • Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox
  • Smile! (Baby Faces) by Roberta Grobel Intrater

Titles for Toddlers

  • My Family by Debbie Bailey
  • Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
  • Time to Wake Up! by Diane James
  • One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root
  • The Wheels on the Bus by Child’s Play

Titles for Preschool & Prekindergarten Children

  • The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
  • But Excuse Me, That is My Book by Lauren Child
  • Miss Spider’s Tea Party by David Kirk
  • Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing by Judith Barrett
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Titles for Kindergartners to Second Graders

  • Alpha Oops! By Althea Kontis
  • Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel
  • A to Z Mysteries series by Ron Roy
  • Go, Dog, Go! by P.D. Eastman
  • Amelia Bedelia Under Construction by Herman Parish

For additional reading tips and recommended age-appropriate book titles, please visit

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