Language and literacy skills go hand in hand and start very early – long before your child is talking or reading on their own! This is why reading to your child is so important for helping these early skills develop. Below are some ways you can use reading to encourage and improve those early developments.
Asking questions while reading helps your child to stay engaged, improve understanding of what is being read to them, and targets the language skill of answering questions.
Talk about the various items you see in the story to help your child learn new words. This helps with word knowledge and can set the stage for later reading skills. Be sure to also talk about the ‘rare’ words you read and what they mean, such as mischief or hibernate.
Connect to kids’ worlds:
Talk about experiences that happened in your child’s day that have to do with the story. For example, if they had a birthday recently, read a story about a birthday and discuss what your child did for their birthday. Talking about the experiences your child has had helps them make reading relevant to them.
Point to the words while reading:
Doing so helps your child learn that words are important and have meaning.
Teach your child the parts of a book:
Encourage your child to learn which way a book is held and where the front cover and back of the book are to help them become familiar with book reading.
Use items out in the world for reading:
Point out street signs with words or allow your child to look through a newspaper or menu to help them learn words are everywhere!
Act out the story:
For example, have your child jump like the kangaroo in the book to help with understanding vocabulary and action words.
Blog written by Kelly Broady. Kelly is a Speech-Language Pathologist for Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center.