While we all know that reading is beneficial to a child’s academic development, it can be difficult to know where or when to begin. Even if you’re not an avid reader yourself, there are ways you can encourage the habit in your little one. If you want some tips on helping your toddler’s literacy, read on!
Read to them
Reading to your child is the easiest way encourage literacy in your family. Many parents are unsure of when to start but honestly, sitting with a book and reading aloud to even a newborn can have significant benefits for their recognition of words by the time they reach their toddler years.
Make it a routine
We’re all so busy on a daily basis, we know! After a long day, it can be hard to carve out time to read and using the same logic as we do about going to the gym we think ‘skipping one night won’t hurt’. However, another important aspect of helping your child’s literacy is to do it often and a little bit (even just 10 minutes) every day or every evening will provide long lasting benefits.
Let them choose
It’s important to make reading interesting if you want them to continue the practice by themselves. Once your child reaches toddler age, the easiest way to hold their interest is to allow them to have some choice in what they are reading. This can either be their favourite book or take note of their favourite genre and collect books in this category.
Discuss the book
While reading, involve your child in the process by discussing the book with them. Ask them what they think about the characters and the situations they find themselves in. Continue this type of discussion into the following days, connecting characters and events in the book to everyday life.
Let them see the book
As you read, allow your child to see the book. Even if your toddler is currently unable to read, by enabling them to see the page and pointing to where you are reading, they will begin to identify high-frequency words, helping them on their journey to literacy.
Teach nursery rhymes
Teaching nursery rhymes or songs can be another great way for your child to become familiar with common words and phrases. When you come across this word during reading, it can become easier for your child to make a connection between how a word looks and how a word sounds.
Let them help you read
If you really want to advance your toddler’s literacy then, once they have had some practice, try letting them read themselves. Let them know it’s ok not to get it perfect first time, as long as they keep trying. You can guide them through their book by helping them sound out difficult words and teaching them how letters like ‘ch’, ‘sh’, and ‘th’ are pronounced.
Visit the library
Toddlers and children love a day out, especially if it involves quality time with mom or dad. A visit to the library can expose children to a variety of different types of reading material and genres. With a wealth of choice, they’re bound to find something they like!
Let them know that reading is good
There are so many benefits of reading that will follow a child well into adulthood. The academic benefits of reading are obvious, but more than that, reading can teach children to be creative, think outside the box and expose them to different ideas and cultures.