Easy literacy skills: 7 tips to help parents of early readers

easy literacy skills

Promoting language skills is not an easy task for any parent. There is Suzy looking at the board book she was holding. Her mom is in the kitchen preparing dinner and the television is turned on. All Suzy is waiting to do, at 6 months old, is hold the board book full of pictures and put it in her mouth.

Many busy parents may believe that children will eventually learn to read when they get to school. Even busy parents believe that an infant can’t understand. No matter how busy, bilingual parents undermine the learning capacity of their child. But many parents don’t realize that literacy can start at a very young age. And it starts at home.

Parents and caregivers should start to read to babies as early as 6 months, especially a foreign language. The benefits of starting to learn a second language opens so many opportunities. Reading together helps to build communication between parent and child. Also, early reading helps to build literacy skills. Here are some easy literacy skills to help parents encourage reading at home at an early age:

easy literacy skills

Easy Literacy Skills to Encourage Reading

1. Board books

These simple to read picture books are a great way to learn new words especially the alphabet. Some board books are designed for little hands.

2. Soft board books

These reading tools are often designed for bath time. And they are a great, fun way to promote vocabulary. Who can resist bubbles while looking at some favorite characters?

3. Road signs

These are easy literacy skills to promote everyday words and the surroundings among us. It is also a great way to teach children about safety.

4. Cereal boxes

This is another excellent way to teach about letter recognition. Find empty cereal boxes and look for the first letter of the child’s name.

For additional fun, parents can cut out the letters while the child can sort them out. This is an easy way to start to recognize letters and practice phoneme awareness.

5. Magnetic alphabet letters

This is a fun way to learn the alphabet, identify the letters in a child’s name, and increase letter recognition.

These are easy literacy skills for parents who may be busy cooking dinner or washing dishes while children play with the magnetic letters on the fridge door.

6. Special book bag

Select a favorite bag and insert small books, coloring books, crayons, reward stickers, and other reading incentives.

This is a great way when parents are waiting in line at the doctor’s office, in the car on long road trips, or while parents are on the phone or cooking.

7. Poems and rhyming books

Parents sometimes overlook these books. But poems provide so much information for children. From phonetics to phoneme awareness, children can learn to identify word sounds and understand the connection between words and letters.

Literacy is not only a gateway to learning about the world. But it can also foster the adoration for reading fun and exciting books. And reading together is an excellent way to build the communication between each other.

Which of these reading tips are great ways to nourish literacy in your home? 

How can parents help struggling readers with reading comprehension?

parents help struggling readers

Engaging children in reading can be one of the most fun ways to encourage learning to read. When children start to learn to read, they begin to understand the many wonderful aspects of the world around them.

But for struggling readers, that reality may seem a distant dream. Many students are left behind because parents don’t know where to begin to help their children. Or parents may lack the capacity or funds to help their children.

How can parents help their children to read better?

Although there are many methods to help struggling readers become better readers, parents are the best resources to their children. And it all starts at home.

parents help struggling readers

When children want to read the same book over and over again, that’s a great sign to encourage discussion and reading comprehension.

Sample question on how parents help struggling readers

Here are some great questions to ask children when reading that favorite book (in English and Spanish):

  • What did you like the best about the story?
  • (¿Qué es lo que más te gusto acerca del cuento?)
  • Why did you like the story?
  • (¿Por qué te gustó el cuento?)
  • How did that make you feel?
  • (¿Cómo te hizo sentir el cuento?)
  • Where would you like to read the next story?
  • (¿Dónde te gustaría leer el próximo cuento?)

By encouraging discussion from stories that parents and children read together, it opens their understanding about characters, plot, sequential order, and vocabulary. Here are some great tips for how parents help struggling readers develop reading comprehension. Bilingual struggling readers need help in this area the most.

  • Point to certain words during the story that leads to discussion.
  • Point to the reading order from left to right.
  • If the book is bilingual, encourage the words in Spanish and English.
  • Encourage definition and significance of the word in English and Spanish.
  • Encourage to look up the word in a children’s dictionary or a picture dictionary.

In fact, every day activities and tasks can lead to great discussions between parent and children. Field trips to museums, parks, libraries, and zoos are great ways to open up the discussion about books.

Learning activity for preschoolers: Letter recognition

learning activity

As reading becomes a very important time for parents and children, there are some learning activities to make the reading process fun and interactive. One obvious learning activity is to sit down with the children and read an exciting book. Or perhaps, parents and children attend a story time at a local library or bookstore. But reading is more than just looking at books.

There are many ways and tips to help parents encourage reading at home. In particular learning activity, preschoolers play with magnetic letters. This is one fun way to introduce letters and numbers. But if parents don’t have these reading tools, they can use letters from cereal boxes. This is such a fun way to introduce different letters, word sounds and different print of letters.

Another great reading project is creating letters of each child name using paper sentence strips. This promotes learning each child’s name, letter recognition, and writing. Letter recognition can be fun when using everyday reading and writing tools.

Recognizing Letters in a Child’s Name

Learning Activity Part A: Preschoolers Creating Letters from Cereal Boxes


  • various cereal boxes
  • scissors
  • plastic bag or box


  • Begin by cutting the letters from cereal boxes. But be careful: only adults should do this task.
  • Cut as many available letters as possible.
  • Also, cut Spanish letters too, if possible, such as ñ, ll.
  • Next, rearrange the letters according to consonants and vowels.
  • Have the child find the first letter of his or her name (Figure 1).
  • Then, instruct to follow the rest of the letters of the name.
  • Make sure to sound out the letters as they are being formed.
  • Finally, have fun making all sorts of words and practicing the sounds each letter or syllables can make.
learning activity
Figure 1


Learning Activity Part B: Begin to create their names using sentence strips


  • sentence strips – height: 1 inch with 1/2 inch dividers
  • pencils
  • piece of cardboard paper
  • construction papers
  • crayons
  • glittery stickers
  • regular glue
  • safety scissors
  • summer or spring patterns
  • decorative scissors (optional)


  • Write the child’s name on a piece of a sentence strip in block letters.
  • Print out the fun flower, ladybug, and butterfly shapes.
  • Cut and trace them onto a piece of sentence strip. Next, allow the children to take part in tracing or writing.
  • Take a piece of cardboard paper and remove one of the layers. So, you should have a wavy cardboard (Figure 2).
Figure 2
  • Then, place the sentence strips with the child’s name on top of the wavy cardboard.
  • Use crayons to color in the letters in a horizontal way (Figure 3).
  • Repeat for the ladybug, flower, and butterfly shapes.
  • Allow the child to cut one of the shapes.
  • Next, cut the letters and the shapes.
  • Cut a decorative border of a piece of construction paper or tagboard with decorative scissors.
Figure 3
  • Paste the letters, stickers, and shapes with regular glue.
  • As the child is having fun selecting the glittery stickers or sparkles, place them on the sheet.
  • For added decoration, place the sheet on a black piece of construction paper to represent a frame for the beautiful creation.
  • Then, let all the pieces dry and set aside.
  • Once dry, display it on a fridge or wall to practice the spelling and sounds of the child’s name. Tip: try to do this as often as possible.

Learning to practice the alphabet is an exciting time to learn letters and sounds. More fun is having children recognize letters from everyday items like cereal boxes. And this game of letters allows them to recognize their letters in their name.

It is also pleasant to see the child’s name in block letters or in a fun arrangement. When children begin to notice the letters in their name, they begin to find letters of the alphabet and boost their self-esteem.