Are you a parent of a toddler who wants to foster a love of reading in your child? Even at your child’s young age, there are ways to make sure that your child loves to read.
Here are the 9 best tips for how to raise an eager reader
- Talking in a slow, gentle manner with well-organized sentences about all the things in your child’s environmentFor example, you might say, “what a pretty bird,” “that car is going fast,” or “the kids are not here today.”Young children listen a lot and it is amazingly effective in getting their attention and in leading them to process language. Good language is central to reading success.
- Do NOT ask questionsPeople tend to pry a kid with questions and in the long run, it is off-putting. Questions make interaction a test instead of fun. Instead of asking questions, comment a lot and give your toddler lots of time to enter the conversation if he or she wants.
- Sit with child and turn the pages of simple, well-illustrated booksAgain, don’t ask questions. Just relax. Your actions will communicate the fun and appeal of books.
- Introduce your child to a range of booksFor example, pictionaries, wordless books, and simple stories. Keep the time periods that you and your child sit with a book brief (under 20 minutes).
- If you are comfortable, make simple drawings (with your child watching) of ideas in the book you are reading to child
For example, if the book talks about a kid wanting to climb a ladder, you can try a drawing of that. If your child wants to contribute to the drawing, encourage him or her to contribute, but don’t demand it.
- Offer nursery rhymesToddlers love the flow of language and it helps develop rhyming skills, which are important in reading.
- Do simple games and activities that develop visual and motor skillsReading and writing require a host of visual and motor skills that receive little attention. If they are in place, reading and writing moves more easily. Offer simple games and activities that develop visual and motor skills. Examples of these kinds of activities are rolling out play dough and making simple shapes, putting small pegs in cups based on size or color; finding “hidden” items in pictures (like Where’s Waldo).
- Spend a relaxed period every day of about a half hour just sitting, playing or talking
You should do this with no interruptions, no texting, no phone, and no TV.
- Limit television access to no more than 30 minutes a day (no access is better)Toddlers do not need TV and excessive amounts of TV actually work against all the skills needed for the active processing in reading and writing.
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