The National Children's Literacy Website is a unique children's literacy initiative and is part of the Soho Center's National Children's Literacy Information Project - a not-for-profit
literacy initiative dedicated to advancing the literacy skills of young children, promoting literacy as an integral factor
in the growth of society, and enhancing literacy in a variety of
home and child care settings. We believe that reading is a fundamental skill needed by all, and we are proud of what we are doing to help children learn to read.


Great Times to Read in Child Care Settings

T r y   T h e m   T o d a y !


Since so many young children spend many of their waking hours in child care, it's important for child care providers to make time to introduce every child to wonderful books and reading-related activities each day.

Good children's books are fun to read aloud.  These books lay the foundation for a love of reading, help children develop listening and expanded language skills, foster creative expression, and build a basic knowledge of the world.  By reading to children, you are truly helping children increase their chances for life-long learning, literacy, and ongoing school success.

Every day, there are many times when books "come in handy" and can be enjoyed. 

Here are some ideas -

  At arrival time, some youngsters may enjoy reading books or looking at picture books nearby - while you greet newly-arriving children.

  During "free time," when children can choose from a variety of activities, children can select favorite books to read by themselves, to each other, to stuffed animals and dolls, or with you.

  During snack-time, children can listen to a short story or a chapter read aloud.  This can be very enjoyable while helping diminish "wiggling" and fidgeting.  It will keep the attention of fast eaters who might otherwise want to leave the table and perhaps go off out of sight, and it will give everyone a shared topic of conversation while they eat.

  During circle-time (a group time when everyone sits together for a few minutes), a well-chosen story - with pictures large enough for kids to see and with enough-but-not-too-much text - read aloud is a perfect choice.

  During "bathrooming" time (when you're changing diapers and/or helping young children use the toilet, unbuckling overalls, etc.), have all your other children sit within sight - reading or looking at books while they wait their turn.

  While you're preparing for lunch, a quiet activity time (including books) can be a big help to keep kids safe and calm - and within your sight.

  Before nap-time, read a short story aloud (or let children look at books for a few minutes before nap-time officially begins).  If children have reached an age where they no longer sleep but still need to rest and not disturb others who are napping, you can give them a handful of books along with a puzzle or other quiet activity.  If children wake before nap-time is over, they can be given books to silently enjoy.

   Older children attending your program after school may enjoy a quiet solitary reading time after being with lots of kids in school and on the school bus.  Older children may feel pride about their ability to read and enjoy reading aloud to one or more younger children. 

  At the end of the day, after having children clean up their toys, a group story-time and then an individual reading time can be a big help.  Kids will be calm, parents will be pleased, and you'll be better able to help "pick-up" time go well.


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