Learning to read takes practice. Loving to read takes enthusiasm. Read with your child often and create a sense of enjoyment, wonder, and a passion for reading.
You can read the morning news at breakfast, share a story after supper, or cuddle up for a book at bedtime. A daily reading routine is something everyone can look forward to.
Interesting conversations build vocabulary, language skills, and knowledge about the world. Talk is a child’s best source of exposure to new words and ideas.
Kids want to do what the grownups do. Make sure your kids get to see you reading and hear you talk about it.
Read and talk about the words you see in the world around you. There’s lots to read—signs, recipes, cereal boxes, instruction manuals, bus schedules, news, maps, and menus.
Take advantage of all the books, materials, story times, programs, and resources your local library has to offer.
Find books at the bookstore or yard sales. Provide a special shelf or basket for kids to keep their own books and one for library books. Make sure there are quiet, comfortable places to read.
Praise the efforts of a soon-to-be or beginning reader. Make sure schedules of older readers include time for reading for pleasure.
Stash books in your bag to read aloud when you travel or have to wait at restaurants or for appointments. Or keep eBooks on your phone.
Beyond bedtime stories, consider a special birthday book, holiday favorites, or a regular family read aloud night.
Offer titles that explore your child’s interests, expand horizons, and offer exposure to different kinds of writing. Show them there are books where they can see themselves and books where they can see the worlds of others.
Find a spot to read together where you are both comfortable. Sometimes kids have to move around to be comfortable.
Use expressive voices for characters, make sound effects, and point things out in the text and illustrations when you read aloud.
Give your child enough time to absorb the story and look at the pictures as you read. Think aloud about what you are reading and looking at and encourage your child to do the same.
Ask your child to guess what comes next. Ask open-ended questions that help them relate to characters or events in the book. Let your child get involved and ask questions too–interruptions are okay!
Repetition helps kids learn. Re-reading favorite books and poems helps kids make meaningful connections between themselves and books.
Write your own reading material, like a story about your life, a story featuring your kids, or a story kids make up.
Connect kids with appropriate technology—videos, apps, or games that help them learn new words and interesting things about the world.
If you have concerns about your child’s language development, hearing, or vision, see your child’s pediatrician as soon as possible.
Link life experiences with books, like a trip to the zoo and books about animals, or planting a garden and reading The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin.
Your idea of fun may differ from your child’s, so appreciate your child’s special joy for learning new things. Try different approaches, such as having them read to you or acting out a favorite story. Even something as simple as a story time outside can make reading together livelier and more memorable for you and your child.
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