Few things are more enjoyable for a parent than to sit down with their preschool-age child and read a Dr. Seuss type book that is silly and full of rhymes. The child often giggles when the images are silly and most kids love the sounds that are made. Also important, as a side note, the kids really love the time that the parents spend with him or her reading aloud.
Now, granted, some of these children’s books can be a bit of a challenge to read for parents because the rhyme patterns can twist tongues, but the child gains so much for future reading development by listening to the rhymes that this practice is essential for phonological awareness. Phonological awareness is the recognition of the basic sound patterns associated with language and, essentially, reading.
Many of these books also pack in a ton of alliterations. Alliterations, as you may recall, are the repetitions of the beginning sounds in words that are next to each other. A nursery rhyme example being the classic, “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers…”. It’s okay, as parents, if you have some difficulties with reading or repeating these passages; the child still gleans important components, and it illustrates for the child that it’s okay to make some mistakes when working with reading material. Learning involves making a lot of mistakes.
PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) has put together a great list of children’s rhyming books here and Goodreads (a popular book recommendation website) also has a helpful list here to get you started. Reading with your child need not take a great deal of time, but reading a book or two each day really is helpful.
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