Reading to your toddler is a great way to get her ready for preschool. As your child’s first teacher, you can help establish the importance of literacy before she goes to school.
Here’s how to get your child exciting about reading:
1. Take your child to the library.
Parents have the chance to spend quality time with their child while also exposing them to a variety of books.. You can choose to spend time reading at the library or check out multiple books to take home and extend the benefits of the visit. The library’s story hour is a great way for children to see that reading is fun.
2. Choose a book your child would want to read.
One of the best ways to keep a child engaged in reading is to choose books that would appeal to her. Consider the activities she is interested in or television shows that she likes. When your child sees her own interests reflected in the book, she’ll most likely to stay connected as you read along. Feel free to continue to switch up books based on what your child is most interested in. If she likes books about friendship, keeping reading those kinds of books to her. If she decides that she wants to switch it up, go ahead and change it up.
3. Be sensitive to the books she’s most likely to interact with.
When selecting a book to read, it is important to think of how your child will interact with the story. Colorful illustrations can help children better understand the storyline. The combination of art and text can offer a clearer message. Some stories include flaps that you can open to find answers or lines that request readers to participate by clapping their hands or stomping their feet, for example. Following these cues can give your child the feeling that she is an active participant in the story.
4. Talk to her about what you read.
Go beyond the story line and discuss the book with your child. Address any questions your child may ask about the book and provide additional background on the story when needed. At the end, ask your child for feedback, such as what was her favorite part of the story or what does she think would happened next in the book. This adds value to the reading experience because you can add further engage with your child.
5. Make reading fun.
Bring the story to life by being animated with your speech and your movements. Change the tone of your voice and motion with your hands to coincide with the different parts of the story line. Also, try substituting the main character’s name with your child’s name in the story. Make her feel like she’s part of the adventure!
Using creative and fun ways to read to your child can foster a love for reading in her before she’s ready for preschool. An added bonus? You’ll be able to spark creativity and adventure in her while forming a special bond with your child.
Graber, M.A., B. (n.d.). Preparing Your Preschooler to Read. Retrieved August 15, 2014, from Great Schools
Types of Books to Read to Young Children. (n.d.). Retrieved August 15, 2014, from University of California Cooperative Extension