Story time! It’s so important to take time every day to read with your child. Whether you read at the breakfast table, after-school, or right before bed, designate time every day to read together. Use the following tips to encourage your child’s reading & writing skills and love of books.
- Take your child on your lap and open the book to the beginning. Don’t be upset if your baby grabs the book and begins to chew on it. You can give your child a toy to hold in each hand.
- Choose books with simple, bold, colorful shapes. Recite or sing nursery rhymes and songs.
- Turn pages slowly and talk about what you see as you point to the pictures.
- Keep reading sessions short. Five minutes will probably be enough time at first.
- Use board books or books with plastic or cloth covers. These are great for babies to look at by themselves.
Toddlers 2-3 Years Old
- Maintain a regular storytime as a peaceful time for the whole family.
- Use puppets and stuffed animals to help tell stories.
- Let your child choose the book sometimes. He/she may want you to read the same story over and over.
- Visit the library often and take your child to storytime.
- Choose books that have a simple sentence structure.
Preschoolers 3-4 Years Old
- Have a regular reading time every day.
- Visit the library often and take your child to the children’s activities there.
- Choose picture books with lots of vocabulary and detailed illustrations to read to your child.
- Encourage your child when he or she tries to read.
- Make sure books are on a shelf that’s easily accessible.
- Let your child help with the chores that include sorting, measuring, cooking and counting.
- Give your child time and materials to color, draw, do puzzles and cut paper.
Kindergarten Children 5-6 Years Old
- Read books out loud every day.
- Get your child a library card and go to the library regularly.
- Choose books that are repetitive and full of rhyme, as well as those with longer sentences and more complex illustrations.
- Encourage your child to help with writing tasks (help with grocery lists, presents, etc.).
- Let your child see you reading for enjoyment.
School Age 7 & Up
- Let your child choose his or her own recreational reading. Some kids love reading fiction, others like non-fiction, comics or graphic novels.
- Read books aloud or have silent reading time as a family.
- Sign your child up for the Summer Reading Program at the library.
- Encourage your child to join a book club or to start their own.
- Support your child’s writing skills. Some kids like to create their own comic strips. Others enjoy writing letters or stories. Some like creating their own secret codes.