5 – 8 Years

Your child is now in school. She develops her own relationships with friends and family members and does more on her own. She uses a lot more words and is starting to read and spell words including her own name. This is an important time to sing, talk and read to help your child succeed in school and life. If you don’t have one already, now is a good time to get a library card. Use it to access your local library.

Explore ways to help your child learn and grow.

Your child is using more words all of the time.

Talk with your child every chance you get to help his language skills grow. Use words that may be new to him. Talk with him about his day and yours on the way to and from school, at breakfast or while making dinner. Choose books that allow your child to learn new words and have fun with language.

Your child craves affection and establishes friendships.

Your child looks to the adults in her life for affection ⎯ her parents, teachers, caregivers and other family members. Find time in your busy day to be with her. Take a moment when folding laundry to talk about her friends. Turn on music and sing together while cleaning the house.

Read with your child at bedtime. Choose books about adult and child relationships such as Lily y su Bolso de Plástico Morado by Kevin Henkes and Mom, It's My First Day of Kindergarten! by Hyewon Yum. Books about friends and siblings like Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo are also good options. Sing bedtime songs from when your child was younger that comfort her, especially during stressful times.

Your child learns to read.

As your child starts to read, choose easy reader books that match his interest. He also develops a sense of humor at this age. Simple joke and funny books are good choices.

Your child can write her name.

Encourage your child to write and draw at home, while waiting for the doctor, on the Metro or at the park. Talk with your child about what he is writing or drawing. Take turns writing the alphabet or drawing animals. Choose books about drawing and other crafts. Books will give you lots of fun ideas for projects you can do with your child.

Your child becomes a better reader.

The more your child reads, the better reader she becomes. She graduates from easy reader books to easy chapter books like Nikki and Deja by Karen English. Choose books that have more words than pictures like Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds by David Adler and Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe. Even if your child can read by herself, continue to read aloud together.

Your growing child is interested in rules, fairness and the world.

Your child has a greater interest in the world around him and asks a lot of questions. He has a better understanding of the concepts of right and wrong and fair and unfair. Read stories about good versus evil such as fairy tales and myths as well as non-fiction books about real-life events.


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