It's All About Reading For All Ages
Ways To Introduce Reading In Your Child’s Life
Newborn to 3 Months
· Hold babies often. Physical contact helps them feel secure.
· Talk to babies about what you are doing while holding them.
· Feeding is a great time to talk to babies.
· Play little games of moving an object slowly and letting them follow it with their eyes.
· Read, play music and sing songs and nursery rhymes to babies.
4 to 6 Months
· Start reading to babies every day. Begin with five-minute sessions. Lengthen the time as children can pay attention longer.
· Point to pictures and words as you read. Talk about the colors, the number of things portrayed in the pictures and directions (up, down).
· Make up stories to go with the picture books. Animal books are great. Make up animal noises to go with them.
· Change the texture of items babies play with (wooden spoons, fuzzy toys). Talk about how they feel.
7 to 12 Months
· Continue to read to babies. Be sure that there are not too many words on a page. Make up your own stories to go along with the pictures in books.
· Read the same books to children over and over again until they become familiar with the books.
· Give children enough time to really enjoy each picture.
· Play pat-a-cake, peek-a-boo, and finger games such as "Five Little Fingers”. You can approach a local library, they will have a variety of books, you may not buy books.
1 to 2 Years (Toddlers)
· Have a regular time each day to share books with toddlers.
· If you are opting for a daycare, try to find a daycare which encourages more on reading story books rather than gadgets.
· Let toddlers help you read the story by turning the pages and repeating the words and sentences when they can.
· Try and use voice modulation. Use different voices for the different characters in the story. This will make it more fun for the children.
· Use child/children's names often. Put their names into the story-line of a favorite book. Name other people, animals and objects and actions as you talk with toddlers.
· Share nursery rhymes and nursery songs often. They will start to enjoy games such as "Ringa Ringa Roses" and "London Bridge". You will find many more options on the internet.
3 to 4 Years (Preschoolers)
· Let children choose the book or books to read. Children love to hear the same stories over and over again.
· Start reading books that are a little longer. Make listening to a story something fun. Don't demand that a child sit and listen if he or she is not interested.
· Make sure that children see you and others reading daily.
· Do a story reding session in and around your vicinity/society.
· Involve children in a variety of reading activities - books, games, books which has different textures on it so that they can feel it. This makes reading interesting.
· Talk about stories and experiences with your child / children at bedtime.
· Make puppets about favorite books. This is an activity that can occur after reading time with children in your care. If you're able to, take them to the library to find books on making puppets, or you can go yourself and bring them with you.
5 Years and Older
· Make reading important. Children learn to read better if their worlds have books, newspapers and magazines. Books for all ages are available in a nearby library. You don’t have to buy all the books, you can borrow from your local library.
· Continue reading to children even though they may be beginning to read on their own. Take turns reading to each other.
· You can make a game of learning to identify words. Point out what the signs say.
· Play rhyming games with children. Say a word and allow children to come up with a rhyme or vice versa.
· Make frequent trips to the public library.
· Have patience. Learning to read is a challenge.
Before Reading the Book
Planning reading times and choosing books are the first steps to a positive reading experience. Consider the following tips as you prepare to read with children.
· Choose stories that are appropriate to the age group.
· Select books that fit the children's interests. Once you have read a few stories with children, you will begin to understand what they prefer.
· Pay attention to children's desire to read. A child who is looking at books or brings you a book is excited to share the book. Show the child you respect her interest by taking the time to read.
· Read the book to yourself first. Knowing the story will help you know what comes next. This will also help you to come up with questions before you read the story.
· Create a cozy, quiet place to read stories. Call it your "reading den."
· Rotate books regularly. Bring new books from the library.
Reading with Babies and Toddlers
For infants and toddlers, sharing a book is a wonderful way to build a warm, secure relationship between child and the parent. Snuggling together while reading a good book is a wonderful way to share one-on-one time. Here are some ways to make sure your reading time fits the needs and abilities of very young children.
· Find a quiet place to snuggle up and read to infants and toddlers.
· Expect babies to touch, feel and taste books while reading. This is how they learn.
· Let babies and toddlers try to turn the pages with your help.
· Sanitize books often, especially when children place them in their mouths.
· Talk about the pictures in the book. Name objects, colors and actions.
· Encourage children to repeat the words you say when you are reading aloud that way they learn to speak faster.
· Read for a few minutes, several times during the day. Have books available and they will want you to read many times.
· Follow the child's interest. Don't be surprised if babies and toddlers do not sit still for a whole book.
· Calm babies with nursery rhymes and songs.
· Read books before rest or nap time to help children relax and go to sleep.
Reading with Preschoolers
For older children, reading is an important part of the daily curriculum. Reading can happen individually or with parents / grandparents. Try the following ideas to help your preschoolers learn to enjoy books.
· Build in daily reading times. Increase daily reading time gradually as children's attention span increases.
· Take time to read to child / children outside circle time. This makes them feel special and cherished.
· Before you start reading, walk through the book looking at pictures without the text. Ask your child what they think is happening in the story. Just play their imagination. This helps them develop their imagination and problem-solving skills.
· Try using different voices. Make the word "scared" sound scared or the word "tired" sound tired.
· Encourage your child to help say repeated words or phrases.
· Ask who, what, where, why and how questions about the content of the book. Encourage your child to predict what will happen next.
· Watch your child as you read the book. Are they happy, sad or interested? See how he/she follows the story.
· Ask your child to retell the story in their own words. He/she may also be able to suggest new endings for a story.
· Find ways to incorporate the story into other parts of the day.
Parents and Child care providers can help young children build a strong foundation for later reading skills. Sharing books at an early age will help children develop language skills, a love of books, and a life-long interest in learning.