Nobody is too young for reading!
#Read a story TO your child.
Read aloud, night or day to your baby. Your voice is soothing and it encourages bonding. I read the newspaper to my little boy! Buy picture books and board books. They are colourful and can be chewed!
Encourage your little one to look, point and touch.
Choose books with repetitive text to build language skills and find some that are crinkly and shiny. For older babies pick books with rhyme and simple language that introduce the concept of shapes, colours and numbers. We love the touchy feel books from Usborne!
#Read WITH your child.
Move forwards from picture books to story books. Get your silly voice on; you don’t have to be good.
‘…Fi-fi-fo-fum!…’ put some FUN in your voice!
Ask questions. ‘What does a cat say?’ Listening to a story does not have to be a quiet affair. With toddlers don’t worry if they get bored two pages into a book. Don’t force them to sit still but do try and get in the habit of reading once a day. Pick a couple of favourites, here are five of our favourite first picture books. Read the same book often and the child will predict what will be happening. Little ones may pretend to read, encourage it, nod and smile even if it is total nonsense! Go to library groups. Get some inspiration for other ways to encourage learning and development from ten activities you can do with your toddler.
#Encourage your child to read TO YOU.
Encourage your little one to hold a book the right way up, turn pages and learn that text is read from left to right. Also encourage them to follow your reading with their little finger or put their finger on yours. Talk about the cover of the book and about what might be happening in the pictures.
Ask open ended questions.
Talk to your child about putting a breath space between words. Buy an alphabet book. Pronounce letters phonetically and learn the hilarious actions, i.e. ‘buh’ rather than ‘bee’, as this is the way they will learn them at school. If you have a three or four year old take a look at our tips for parents with children starting primary school.
Be prepared to play ‘I spy’ for 100 hours.
When your child starts reading solo, read early in the day before they are too over tired. Keep the reading sessions short. PRAISE them, make positive associations with books! Be patient. If F becomes F for Fart…roll with it.
Do your children have a favourite book they like to read?
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