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:
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends daily reading to children beginning by 6 months of age.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Encourage your child to hold the book the correct way up and show him/her how to turn the pages.
- Talk about the pictures and point while you label the pictures.
- Show your child that reading is a natural part of your day. Point out words, logos and signs in your daily environment.
- 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.
- 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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