Love me, feed me, read to me! Before your baby can understand the words you are saying, he or she loves to be held and listen to the sound of your voice. Start reading aloud as soon as your child is born.
Being silly is part of being a child. Read nonsense books, make up words that sound funny, and have your child tell you a “tall tale.” It will spark your child’s imagination and keep reading fun.
When your child tells you the ending words on a page or helps you “read” the story, celebrate together! This is the beginning of learning how to read, and will increase his or her confidence in becoming a reader.
When you read to your child every day, it becomes a routine that your child will remember as comforting. Reading together gives you time to be with your child, sharing the joy and adventure of books.
Whenever you go out with your child – taking a trip to the grocery, feeding ducks at the park, or having a friend over to play – read a book about it. This introduces your child to new words that he or she can use to describe activities.
If your toddler gets bored and walks away, it’s time to stop reading. Don’t force reading time. Make it fun and a pleasure. Children develop longer attention spans the more they enjoy listening to books being read aloud.
Change the words of a favorite book, insert your child’s name throughout the book instead of a character, or make up your own rhymes like a book. It’s all fun and expands your child’s imagination.
Notice details and the small changes in the illustrations of a book. It will help your child become a good observer and eventually see differences in the shapes of letters when learning to read.
When reading aloud, don’t be afraid to “ham it up!” Make different voices for different characters. Show your child by the excitement in your voice, that you enjoy the book too!
Drawing is a special way for your child to retell or create a new story. Write down what your child tells you about the picture he or she makes.
When children can retell a story it helps them to really understand the meaning of the words in the book. Using their own words to tell the story also builds vocabulary.
What happens next? Ask your child to guess what will be on the next page of the book you are reading together. Your child will learn that events happen in a sequence.