Tips for making the most of your child’s reading experience

I know that the majority of information we take in is done through our eyes and that providing children with literacy-rich environments and activities at an early age has significant benefits.  But how can you give children the experiences they need, when they have a vision impairment? Here are some quick tips.  Please ad more, these are just a few.

 

Materials for Reading

  • Choose books that have bright colors, lots of contrast
  • Think about reading books with pictures that are clear and simple
  • Read stories with large words and point to them as you read them

Spaces for Books and reading

  • Make sure the area is well lit; lighting above and behind where the child is will illuminate the book.
  • Play with different light bulbs and consider trying blue, orange, yellow hues.
  • Allow them to hold the book – they can hold it as close to or far from them as their eyes need.

Materials for drawing and writing

  • Provide WIDE tip markers that make a thick line (I love Crayola’s new toddler triangle grip markers)
  • Give large sheets of paper for exploration
  • Allow writing on different materials that have high color contrast; white chalk on a black board, blue marker on a dry erase board

In a daycare or pre-school setting – it is important to talk to your child’s teacher.  Public school teachers must do these accommodations and have specialist to assist them.  Most child care settings do not have these resources and rely on parents to educate them about their child’s needs.

 

  • Make sure he / she is always right up front close to the book.
  • If possible, have the child hold a second copy of the book.  If this is not possible, allow the child to explore the book before or after reading the story.
  • Enhance the story with a tactile or auditory activity. EX.  If the story is about a car, have your child hold a car during the story
  • If they are doing group writing, have them use big bold markers on white or yellow paper
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