There are very few activities as rewarding as cuddling up together with an exciting book! The more your preschooler is exposed to quality books and the fun of reading, the more he will come to value the experience. Children who are taught to enjoy reading not only perform better in school, they also develop a valuable learning tool that lasts a lifetime!
How can I make the most of reading with my child?
- Pick the reading time that is best suited to your child. If you know he gets cranky before he eats or has too much energy after a nap, forgo those times. You want him to associate reading with warm pleasant feelings.
- Do not pressure your child to participate or sit for long periods of time while you read. It will only lead to resistance and a dislike for reading.
- Read words wherever you find them. Read signs, billboards, and even the cereal box at breakfast. This helps your child see that words are everywhere-not only in books.
- Allow your child to pick the book. Preschoolers have vivid imaginations. Read books about animals that talk or fairy tales, for example. They also love learning new and exciting things. Choose books with facts about things they are interested in such as cars, nature, or children from other countries.
- Explain to him what kind of book it is and read the title. “Oh, this is a book about a monkey named Curious George!”
- Move your finger under the words as you read aloud. This helps him connect what he hears with the words he sees on the page.
- Use your voice to make the story exciting. Imitate the characters and show emotion as it fits with the plot.
- Ask open-ended questions - “What do you think will happen next?”
- Encourage your child to participate by repeating favorite words or rhymes.
- Once a story becomes familiar, stop near the end of a sentence and allow him to fill in the missing phrase.
- Talk about the artwork and discuss the pictures. Have him point out recognizable objects or characters.
- Ask your child to “read” to you. Even if he is unable to actually to read the words he can use his imagination to make up the story or retell a familiar one in his own words.
- Let your child see you read for pleasure. Children imitate what they see... the more often they see a book in your hand the more likely they will want to read also.