Begin to read to your child as a baby. While infants can’t understand your words, they love being close to you, hearing your voice, looking at pictures and touching the pages of a book. Singing songs and repeating nursery rhymes and fingerplays will build your child’s pre-reading skills. As your child grows, look at picture books and simple stories together. Leave time to talk before, during and after the story.
- Talk about the pictures.
- Ask your child to guess what will happen next. When little children look at picture books, they try to tell a story. They compare what happens in the story with what they know about life. For instance, many toddlers have a hard time learning to dress themselves. Yet they can laugh when a baby bunny puts both feet in the same pants leg.
- Ask if your child liked the story. Why or why not? What was the best part?
- The next time you read the book together, let your child retell the story as you turn each page. Your child will remember more each time.
- Keep a bag with a few of your child’s favorite books and some new stories. Take it whenever you go out, in case you have to wait somewhere.