Take a look at easy ideas to bring books into your young child’s life.
(1) Read together every day. Find a time of day when your child is most able to settle down, such as before naps or after a bath. If he loses interest, stop and try again later. Aim to spend a total of 20 minutes each day reading with him (all at once or in chunks). Those 20 minutes will help him build key reading skills.
(2) Ask questions. Ask your child things about the story that can be answered from looking at the pictures. Have her point out differences in the shapes of letters; this will prepare her to identify them as she learns to read on her own. Remember not to overdo your questions, though. Keep the time fun and entertaining.
(3) Do it together. Make your child feel that the books are really for him. Let him help choose books to buy and which ones to read. Ask him to hold the book or turn the pages as you sit together.
(4) Point to words. Use your finger to help her follow the text as you read it. Pause at a word she might already know and let her say it.
(5) Read it 101 times. Reading his favorite book again, and again, and again actually helps him begin to recognize repeated words. It also helps him become familiar with the structure of a story.
(6) Try picture reading. Even before she can read any words, encourage your child to read to you from the pictures. Look for books with bright, lively illustrations that offer good clues to the text such as Fidgety Fish by Ruth Galloway. Also try rebus books, which use picture symbols for words such as an illustration of an eye to represent “I”.
(7) Read it by heart. If he’s memorized a favorite story, guide him to follow the text as he recites it. Eventually, he’ll associate a spoken word with the written one.
Adapted from scholastic.com