How Books Work – for Slightly Older Kids…

Here are more features about print on a page to show your child. 

Once you’ve introduced the features we talked about in my previous blog – Show Your Child How Books Work, you can point out some more “advanced” items. These would be for a child about 3 and a half to 4 years of age or older.
This is about showing your child how books work. This knowledge will come in really handy once your child begins to read! Teachers call this concepts about print.


Do this while reading  with your child. Look for the different features in the book you’re reading. Introduce one item at a time. One day you might talk about a period, the next day point out a question mark.
  • Point to a period. Say: “This dot means stop. We stop reading when we come to a period.” And then, demonstrate by reading the sentence and coming to a stop.


  • Point to an exclamation mark. Say: “This is an excited mark. It means we say the words in an excited way such as “But Charlie did not come back!”


  • Point to a question mark. Say: “This is a question mark. It means it’s asking something such as “Where are you going?”


  • Point to a word in bold or darkened letters. Say: “This means we say it with a big voice. Like this: “Go away!”


  • Point to the quotation marks. Say: “These are speaking marks. It means someone is talking. She said: “I can see you, Charlie!”


Repeat and review. These things don’t have to be learned all at once but over the course of days, weeks, and even months. Once you’ve introduced a feature such as a period several times, you can ask your child: “Do you remember what this dot means? That’s right! It means stop reading. Good for you!” Praise your child!
Excerpts: Charlie’s Bad Hair Day by Pat Harrison (Blueberry Hill Books)


“There are many little ways
to enlarge your child’s world.
Love of books is the best of all.” 

– Jacqueline Kennedy

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