Research has shown that children who are read to during their early years have better language and listening skills when they start school.
Through reading, children learn about sizes, shapes, names of unfamiliar objects, feelings and people. At this age, children are not actually learning to read; they’re learning that books are fun and engaging.
Choosing books for your child
Through everyday experiences with books, your child is learning what reading is. When selecting a book:
- Choose books with repetitive text. This makes it easy for your child to fill in the words, memorize the book, and “read” along.
- Look for books with small amounts of text on the page.
- Pick books about children, families and animals. Silly books are a great choice too.
Keeping your child’s needs in mind
Consider these tips:
- Strive for at least one scheduled reading time each day. Consider making reading a part of a daily routine such as at naptime or bedtime.
- Let your child choose the book. Give your child three or four books to choose from. Children often want to read the same book over and over. This gives them a sense of competency when they know what the book says.
- Don’t rush reading time. Read slow enough for your child to understand and enjoy the book.
- Don’t force your child to sit. When being read to, an active child may prefer to stand up.
- Provide your child a way to look at books independently throughout the day.
- Keep books available in a basket.
- Have books on a low accessible shelf.
- Make a comfy, cozy reading space.
Sharing books with your child
Reading together sets the foundation for your child’s later independent reading. Make reading together a positive experience.
- Let your child hold the book and turn the pages.
- When reading a repetitive phrase or rhyme, pause and let your child finish it.
- Read with expression, use different voices for different characters.
- Point to pictures and say what they are.
- Personalize the story. Substitute your child’s name for the name of a character in the book.
- During the story, ask questions like, “Why do you think she is sad?” This encourages your child to think about the story and ask questions too.
- If your child shows interests in the letters or words, point them out and talk about them.
Let the lifelong journey of enjoying books begin!
- Ten ways to promote your child’s reading skills
- Read aloud to help your child learn to love books
- Create a reading space to enhance your child’s enjoyment of books