Overview of Reading Tips

Children are not born smart. They are made smart by their parents, caregivers and loved ones through experiences and interactions. By reading with and talking to a child, you are ensuring that child’s brain development has a strong foundation for all future learning. What you do in your child’s earliest years matters greatly in their future school success.

Reading with your child is so much more than simply saying the words on the page. It should be a conversational dance back and forth between the reader and the child. While you’re reading with a child, enrich the reading experience in any number of ways.

Take a baby’s finger and pointing to an object in the story or ask your toddler to point to the object. Ask your preschooler to comple a rhyme within the story. Ask open ended questions about what’s taking place on the page or in the story or ask them how the story relates back to their life.

Create unique voices for the characters in the book as you can never be too silly, crazy or exaggerative when reading with your child. Using one or all of these suggestions will ensure the reading experience is enriched and enhanced for both you and your child.

Reading together with a child is an amazing way to bond together. Where is a child going to feel more loved than on your lap or next to you on the couch with your full undivided attention? As you bond, reading together increases his or her brain activity (American Academy of Pediatrics), giving a child a strong literacy and language foundation. Language is universal and reading together develops children's literacy development, specifically in the areas of comprehension of words, language processing, and visual imagery.

Enhance the experience by talking about what’s on the pages such as the colors, the letters, the pictures, as well as talking about what’s taking place in the story. You can’t be too silly when reading with your child, the crazier and more exaggerated the voices, the better! Here is a great example of a great read aloud by Michael Rosen, author of “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.”

Be sure to pick a comfortable, well-lit spot when you read together and make that special time a daily routine. Keep reading with your children as they grow older and can read on their own. Kids still enjoy that bonding time with you. As their reading skills mature, reading together looks different at every stage. What should always be constant is reading together every day.

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Our message is simple but its effect is powerful. Read Together 20 Minutes Every Day™.

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