Reading – an excellent way to build your child’s vocabulary

When you read to your child you are helping your child’s mind grow and develop. Reading aloud to your child helps your child learn more about the world around him/her. When reading, you help your child learn language, develop listening skills, build attention and lay the foundation for reading and writing skills. Reading develops a child’s imagination and helps children to develop empathy.

Ten reading tips for parents:

  1. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends daily reading to children beginning by 6 months of age.
  2. Book are meant to be handled by children so select board or plastic books that are easy for little hands to explore and that cannot be damaged easily.
  3. In the early stages of learning to talk, share simple repetitive stories with topics about daily routines such as getting dressed, going to the park, mealtimes, etc.
  4. Read stories over and over to your child. As children listen to the same story over and over again they are expanding their memory for words.
  5. Make reading part of your daily routine. Take a book along wherever you go; in the supermarket queue, at the doctor’s surgery or on a car journey.
  6. Encourage your child to hold the book the correct way up and show him/her how to turn the pages.
  7. Talk about the pictures and point while you label the pictures.
  8. Show your child that reading is a natural part of your day. Point out words, logos and signs in your daily environment.
  9. When reading to your child, read the words of each sentence slowly. Stress the important keywords. Point to the words in the book as you read them.
  10. Use gestures, actions or toys to bring the story to life.

As a parent, reading to your child is a simple but powerful boost to their development. It is one of the most important things you can do to prepare your child with a foundation for academic excellence.

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