Giving 6 year old children the right books to read is a lot more challenging than it looks. This is especially true if we are not cognizant of the language and speech developmental patterns of children of this age. And while these developmental markers are considered the ‘norm’, it is still very important that we play a part in determining the actual developmental milestones of our respective kids. This way, we can choose the right books for their age. Consequently, you can also check out our 12 best books for 6 year olds in 2017. This collection of books is representative of what many children’s language experts to be appropriate for their age.
A Look at Your 6-Year Old’s Speech and Language Development
One of the most important considerations when choosing an excellent book or reading material is the appropriateness of the book’s content to the age or developmental level of the child who is going to read it. That is why it is imperative that we gain an understanding and appreciation of the speech and language development of 6 year old kids. This provides a backbone for the selection of more appropriate reading materials for them.
- The development of correct pronunciation
Did you know that one of the most amazing things in the speech and language development of 6 year olds is their growing proficiency in pronouncing words the correct way? Majority of 6 year old children are now able to pronounce all of the vowels and the diphthongs of their native language. When it comes to consonants, only a few remain to be mastered. Typically, the sounds “s”, “th”, “z”, “ch”, and “wh” as well as the soft “g” are quite challenging to pronounce correctly among six year olds. Nevertheless, this age only goes to show that they are now more than ready to communicate their thoughts and feelings to other people, including adults. As a matter of fact, their words are now comprehensible as far as adult conversations are concerned.
When choosing a book for 6 year olds, it may be important to look at the words that are used in such literature. If there are words that start with sounds which your child may have difficulty pronouncing, it may be a good idea to help him or her pronounce it correctly. Remember, though, that most 6 year olds cannot read independently yet so you’d have to supervise them nonetheless.
- Speech development
Most six year olds can already form complex sentences often with multiple clauses. The more amazing thing is that, by this age, their sentences are already grammatically correct. Many children of this age can also begin speaking in a very clear and fluent manner, often with intelligible enunciation. As such, when given the opportunity you can always expect your 6 year old to join in the conversation which they all seem to enjoy. Social gatherings are a great venue for kids to try out their newly-formed conversational skills while also building their confidence in communicating with various types of people.
The type of book that you choose for your kid should thus, reflect an understanding of this developmental milestone. Books that allow them to learn grammatically correct sentences are useful in reinforcing their skills. However, it is still crucial to supervise their reading activities so you can instantly correct mistakes that may crop up.
- Knowledge of numbers and concept of time
Don’t expect your 6 year old to be able to count up to a hundred or even more. At most, six year olds are known to be able to count well up to twenty. Nevertheless, most kids at this age should already have a fair understanding of superlative and comparative adjectives such as “small”, “smaller”, and “smallest”, which are technically essential math concepts. They also have a fair understanding of the concept of time such as “yesterday”, “today”, and “tomorrow”. They also what it means to be “first” or even “next”. They know the days of the week as well as the idea that “last week” is in the past and that “next week” is still to come. Their understanding of positional concepts is also amazing. They know “left”, “right”, “middle”, and “last”.
It thus, pays to select a book that will help reinforce their understanding of these concepts while also introducing them to additional and newer words. Remember, the more words they learn the greater is their vocabulary and the better they are when it comes to communicating their needs, ideas, and feelings.
- Literacy and story telling
You might not know it but 6 year olds love telling simple stories often from the things that other people say, their own personal experiences, and the things that they read from their books. Give them a picture and they can easily concoct stories about it, albeit sometimes in a less than sensible manner. They can even begin describing things or explaining what they have seen or experienced in a manner that is comprehensible and understandable. Understand that a great majority of six year olds cannot read on their own yet; although some can already begin to read independently. Most don’t have the ability to write on their own, too; although they can easily memorize nursery rhymes and songs.
It is important to realize that most six year olds cannot read independently. It is therefore, crucial to choose books that will help them learn how to read, often in very simple sentences and very simple words.
Reading is one of those activities that help 6 year old kids develop their speech and language skills. It is, thus very important that the books we choose for them are those that are highly appropriate for their developmental level. While we will be assisting them learn how to read, the content of such materials is equally important. These 12 best books for 6 year olds in 2017 should help you in such an endeavor.