Read early and read often. The early years are critical to developing a lifelong love of reading. It's never too early to begin reading to your child! The tips below offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child.
Read together every day
Read to your child every day. Make this a warm and loving time when the two of you can cuddle close.
Give everything a name
Build your child's vocabulary by talking about interesting words and objects. For example, "Look at that airplane! Those are the wings of the plane. Why do you think they are called wings?"
Say how much you enjoy reading
Tell your child how much you enjoy reading with him or her. Talk about "story time" as the favorite part of your day.
Read with fun in your voice
Read to your child with humor and expression. Use different voices. Ham it up!
Know when to stop
Put the book away for awhile if your child loses interest or is having trouble paying attention.
Discuss what's happening in the book, point out things on the page, and ask questions.
Read it again and again
Go ahead and read your child's favorite book for the 100th time!
Talk about writing, too
Mention to your child how we read from left to right and how words are separated by spaces.
Point out print everywhere
Talk about the written words you see in the world around you. Ask your child to find a new word on each outing.
Get your child evaluated
Please be sure to see your child's pediatrician or teacher as soon as possible if you have concerns about your child's language development, hearing, or sight.
These tips for parents of preschoolers are also available as a one-page handout.*
* To view this file, you'll need a copy of Acrobat Reader. Most computers already have it installed, or you can download it now.