Reading at Every AgeMarch 23, 2017
Taking the time to read matters
There are lots of ways to help your child learn to love reading. Reading promotes language development, writing skills and school readiness. Even with all the craziness and stress in our daily lives, here are some tips to make reading easy and fun for the littlest people in your life.
- Try a few lines of a book every day. Babies love to hear voices and watch faces – any book will do!
- Keep it simple. There should be no pressure to finish a story or get your infant to focus through it. Let them hold, play with or even chew on their books. It all counts.
- Rhyme and sing. Infants love hearing a sing-song voice and identifying patterns. This will help to lay a foundation for future singing and rhyming throughout toddlerhood!
- Create a cozy spot for reading. Try putting a few books near a soft chair or pillow and let your toddler sit and play there. Having a special and calm spot (especially in a crowded apartment) can help encourage a love of special reading time.
- Find books with pictures of kids. Looking at familiar faces and activities is attractive to young children.
- Lift-the-flap books make for excellent games and entertainment. Toddlers love repetition!
- Read books about feelings. Toddlers are learning to manage all of their emotions. Helping to teach them to label those feelings (and showing them what they look like) can be done easily with books about emotions.
- Make reading a special time you spend with your child. Turn off the chaos and the noise for a few moments of undivided attention. Your attention to reading sends a message to your child that you value books and literacy.
- Talk about what you see and think about a book. Go beyond the words and pages and ask questions about how characters feel and what they might be thinking. Kids love to make connections between their own lives and the characters they are reading about.
- Make up your own stories based on the pictures. This builds imagination and creativity.
- Ask your child to tell the story from another character’s perspective. Understanding what others think and feel is an essential part of developing empathy.
- Point to words as you read them. This will help children to learn to read and to recognize letters.
- Read characters with funny voices. This will keep kids engaged and excited by the books they are reading!
Check out Down By The Bay, a creative and physical way to inspire readers, from our friends at Child’s Play In Action
Find more tips on reading to infants, toddlers and preschoolers