We are celebrating a new book release from the creator of Goodnight Moon thanks to our sponsor HarperCollins!
My daughter is four years old and just started Pre-Kindergarten (here in Florida we call it VPK or Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten). With the help of my daughter’s teacher, I have been learning about how to teach a child to read and more importantly how to teach my child to pay attention when I read to her. For a while, she would turn off anytime that I discussed letters with her. I am doing my best to make the learning process more fun by incorporating play. I have been making letters part of the decor of every part of my house so that no learning opportunity is missed. Jump straight to how to make fabric letters by scrolling down.
We have play dough letters where she can cut out words and make up stories as we play, letters in the bath, and letters in the living room. I made them a little more stylish for the living room so that they can blend in with the decor. I also find that the letters being all in the same print help us focus on the letter rather than the colors. She has her colors down pat, and I want to focus on letter learning.
How to Teach a Child to Read
Let’s start with reading to your child. We have been reading to my daughter since birth. Every night before bed, she gets at least three stories. If you are not doing this already, you can start reading to your child today.
In the living room, we have a little stack of books that we read over and over every single day to my daughter. This is one of the tips that my daughter’s pre-kindergarten teacher gave me. She said that reading the same books every day can help get your child familiar with the words in the book so that they can recognize them and eventually learn them. My go-to book of choice is Goodnight Moon, the classic from Margaret Wise Brown with illustrations by Clement Hurd. Did you know a new board book edition just came out? It’s perfect for little hands. Plus we now have a new book from the same author, Good Day, Good Night, which release last month and is our new favorites too.
Good Day, Good Night
This previously unpublished picture book by beloved children’s book author Margaret Wise Brown uses her signature word pattern from the classic Goodnight Moon that has soothed generations of children to sleep. Paired with Loren Long’s gorgeous illustrations, readers will take comfort in the reassuring world of the little bunny and delight at the attention to detail and hidden surprises on every page.
Check out the Good Day, Good Night book trailer:
Here is an awesome activity booklet to use to help your child to read and learn more while reading the book Good Day, Good Night. Print the Good Day, Good Night Activity Booklet here.
Underline the Words
As you read aloud to your child, you can skim along the bottom of the words to help show them which words you are saying as you read. When you see a visual of a word, point out the image and associate it with the word. “Good day kitty,” now point to the Kitty on the page and say something that is the picture of the kitty and here it is written Kitty starting with the letter K. You could even have the letters on hand that you know you will discuss that week. My daughter’s school is focusing on 1 to 2 letters per week. Last week, they worked on C, and they added K this week. They are working on both letters in school so I have the fabric letter C and K on hand so that I can discuss them when we find them in the book.
Fabric Letters & Toys Reference in the Book
You can make reading extremely interactive with toys that are referenced in the book and the fabric letters. I keep them in a cute, stylish bowl next to my daughter’s books.
You can even see if they are comprehending the story by asking questions as you go like “Why do you think that there is a red balloon in the green room?” You can also ask the child words that rhyme with Kitten or Cat or any other words in the book. What rhymes with the word balloon? The point is to read the same books each week and get every bit of learning out of them as possibly can. Think outside the box and ask your child as many questions you can think of about the book.
If you don’t want to bombard them the first night, you can write down the questions as they come to you. The letter of the week in school helps give me a topic of conversation when we read. Since we are working on C and K this week, I will focus on words starting with C like Cat, Cow, Cuddle, Curl, and Color. The C words then open a Pandora’s box of questions about the C objects. Could a cow jump over a moon? Can animals go into space? We could talk about gravity and space suits for hours!
The next night I could talk about the kittens. Would the kittens keep on those mittens? Do you remember when we tried to put socks on our dog? Do you think that our neighbor cat would let you put mittens on his feet?
Point Out Words in Your Environment
Notice Letters in the environment and point them out to your child. You can sound out the word when you point them out and then ask them what those sounds make. In a pet store? C-at – what word does that make?
There are a lot more ways to teach a child to read, and I hope to update this post as I learn more from reading about teaching and getting pointers from my daughter’s teacher. I am by no means an expert on the education of children, but I am a mom trying her best to help her daughter love reading and writing as much as I do.
How to Make Fabric Letters
Tools & Supplies
- 1/2 Yard of Fabric
- 1/4 Yard of Sturdy Batting
- Fabric Glue
- Glue Spreader
- Magnet Sheets
- Printable Letters
- Work Area Cover (garbage bag, butcher’s paper, or tablecloth)
- Iron & Ironing Board
- Start by ironing both the fabric and the batting so that there are no wrinkles. You want a nice flat surface for your letters.
- Cover your work area with a garbage bag or tablecloth. You don’t want to glue the letters to your table.
- Lay the batting on the table first and lay the fabric face up on top. You want to glue half of the fabric to the batting. That is why we have a 1/2 yard of fabric and 1/4 yard of sturdy batting.
- Glue together the back of the fabric and the batting using fabric glue and spread the glue thin with a glue spreader. Smooth out the fabric and the batting so that there are no bumps.
- Let the glue dry for an hour. At the half-hour mark, check to make sure that the fabric and batting are not stuck to the work area cover. Separate them to ensure no sticking.
- Print out these letters and cut out them out. Fabric Letters ABCDEF Fabric Letters GHIJKL Fabric Letters QTUWV Fabric Letters XYZ
- Once the glue is semi-dry at the 1-hour dying mark, you can use a marker to trace the edge of the paper letters of the fabric.
- Using scissors, cut the letters on the inside of the lines you drew.
- Cut the magnet sheets to suit each letter. I cut between 2 and 4 pieces of various sizes to make sure that the letters would stick to the fridge and my metal serving tray.
- With the remainder of the fabric with the wrong side facing up, spread fabric glue with a glue spreader.
- Place the letters with the magnets facing down on the back side of the fabric piece. Press lightly so that the letters stick to the fabric.
- Let the letters dry for 2 hours.
- Cut the letter out of the fabric.
- Use the magnetic letters on the fridge, a metal serving tray or a new cookie sheet.
Notes on How to Make Magnetic Letters Out of Fabric
I used a permanent marker to trace the letters, but after reading the instructions on the fabric glue, I would use a washable marker instead. Since the glue and the fabric can be washed once it is dry, any mistakes can be removed if you use washable markers.
One (1) lucky April Golightly reader will win the following by entering through the widget.
- Copies of Good Day, Good Night and Goodnight Moon
- Good Day, Good Night– themed event kit
- Branded bunny rattle provided by KidsPreferred.
Giveaway open to US addresses only.
Prizing provided by HarperCollins and KidsPreferred.
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