Reading could be considered one of the most important activities to engage in with your children at an early age (as early as 6 months!). I knew this was important from working in education but I didn’t realize how much so until I had my own children. The easiest way to fit this in to your busy schedule is to make this part of your bedtime routine. Just fifteen minutes a day can make a difference! By reading to your child daily you can help your child develop of a love of reading and introduce new vocabulary. You can increase their interest by letting them pick out the book. This may even drive you crazy some when they continue to pick the same book every night, but familiarity is important to children and can give them a sense of comfort. This also makes them feel like they are reading to you when they memorize the book and can retell the story (early comprehension skills).
Reach Out and Read encourages all parents to make reading with their children part of their daily routine.
Make reading part of every day, even for just a few minutes.
Talk about the pictures. You do not have to read the book to tell a story.
Let your child turn the pages.
Show your child the cover page. Explain what the story is about.
Run your finger along the words as you read them.
Silly sounds, especially animal sounds, are fun to make.
Choose books about events in your child’s life such as starting preschool, going to the dentist, getting a new pet, or moving to a new home.
Make the story come alive. Create voices for the story characters.
Ask questions about the story. What do you think will happen next? What is this?
Let your child ask questions about the story. Talk about familiar activities and objects.
Let your child retell the story.
Visit your local library often.
Reading with your preschooler:
Have your child sit close or on your lap while reading.
Ask questions about the story.
Let your child tell you stories.
Make weekly visits to the children’s room at the library so your child can choose more books.
Children like …
longer books that tell stories;
books without words;
alphabet and counting books;
books about families, friends, and going to school;
and a book at bedtime.