There’s nothing more satisfying than snuggling up together with your child and a good book. Spending one on one time reading with your child on a regular basis sends an important message— that reading is worthwhile! Reading books aloud to children from an early age not only stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world, it also fosters a love for books and develops strong foundations for a life-long positive attitude towards reading. This in turn stays with your child throughout their school years and beyond.
Learning to read is a complex process! At Kindercare, we focus on the building blocks of language and literacy development, supporting children through play, to develop the foundation skills that prepare them for formal learning and life success.
To enhance early language and literacy skills and to enrich their experience, you will want your child to enjoy reading. Here are 9 ways to ensure reading with your child remains pleasurable, enjoyable and fun:
- Expose your child to a wide variety of books including poetry, picture books, non-fiction and rhyming books within your home library.
- Create storytelling rituals. Focus on making the experience intimate and peaceful, moving into a quiet comfortable space where you can treasure this time together.
- Encourage your child to be an active participant in reading the story— follow their lead; they are most likely going to focus their attention for longer and engage more in the experience when the story is of interest to them. Allow your child to set the pace, to hold the book and turn the pages while predicting what might happen next.
- Invite your child to take on the role or voice of the characters in the story, playing around with sounds and words, using actions and a range of expressions to make the story come alive. Feel free to make up your own songs and jingles to go along with the story!
- Make connections between what you read and real-life experiences— you could use a variety of props and materials to do this.
- Use the illustrations to make up your own stories together. Talk about all the different shapes, colours and objects that you see.
- Adjust the words or length of the story to suit your child’s age and ability— illustrations are helpful in telling your own stories. Recreate the story in your own words.
- Read your child’s favourite books repeatedly. It’s not unusual for children to go through periods where they favour a particular story that speaks to their interests. Children learn new words and concepts through repetition. As a result, they become familiar with the storyline and a develop greater confidence in their reading.
- Avoid asking them too many questions; instead make comments, be curious and engage in general discussions as you explore together.
There is a myriad of ways to support children’s early literacy skills and to engage with them in the stories they read that go beyond the above tips. However you do it, the important thing is to surround children with many forms of literature, reading as often as you can with them. This will kickstart their love for reading and build a life-long passion for books.
Reading Online – World Literacy Day
Earlier this week, we celebrated World Literacy Day, acknowledging the place of reading in the lives of children and adults alike. In conjunction with that and to support you with access to a wide range of literature for young children, we would like to introduce to you Epic Free. This gives parents and children instant access to a library of high-quality, educational books, as an alternative to tactile books for families with a limited library at home. Epic Free gives each child two hours of free weekly reading time. You can learn more about Epic and what they do, and start with a 30-day trial account for free. Check it out to continue nurturing the love of reading with your little one today!