Books are a wonderful way to teach children new vocabulary and help them associate those words with pictures.
Here are four new, FUN, and really beneficial ways to read to your little one:
1. FACE YOUR CHILD –
Facing your child helps them see your facial expression while reading; it also helps your child see your mouth forming words. This is SO beneficial and makes reading more interactive (like a conversation between the two of you).
- For babies, you can lay them down in your lap facing you.
- For older toddlers, sitting on the floor with them can be a great way to face them during reading time.
2. READ SLOWLY –
There is no need to rush through a book; take your time so your child can take-in all the words and pictures.
- Point to ALL the pictures in the book and DESCRIBE what you see! Ex: “Look at the brown dog running! He runs SO fast!”
- We know you’ve heard it before, but reading the same book over and over (and over, and over…) again can be SO great for children! Don’t be afraid to read the same book for the one-hundredth time!
3. BE SILLY –
Make reading time engaging and exciting!
- Over exaggerate your voice and your facial expressions.
- Substitute your child’s name (and other people your child knows) for the characters in the book.
- Sing songs about the pictures in the book. Any song that pops into your head – sing, sing sing!
4. ASK QUESTIONS –
Asking questions can help develop you child’s receptive language skills.
- Ask them “where did the bunny go?” or “what is that duck doing?” Ask your child to POINT to “the girl who is running” or “the blue bike.”
- Ask probing questions, like, “why is that dog running so fast?” or “This boy looks sad. Why do you think he is sad?”
- *** Remember, we don’t want to fire questions ALL the time; a good ratio to remember is THREE comments about the book for every ONE question you ask.