Techniques For Encouraging Reading In Young Children

Encourage children and preschoolers to enjoy books by reading aloud to them in a way that makes the story come alive.

Are you looking for ways to encourage your preschooler to read? Would you like to instill in your toddler a love of books? With your help, toddlers and preschoolers can get a head start on the road to reading, even if they cannot yet read themselves. Here are a few techniques to help get you started:

· First, and foremost, read aloud to your child, no matter how young. Infants love to hear their parent's voice. Reading to your child not only provides a valuable learning experience, but it can become a treasured family activity.

· Be a role model. Parents can set a good example by showing that they enjoy and benefit from reading at home.

· Make regular visits to your local library, and be sure to elicit the help of the children's librarian. There are a number of library resources available to help you choose books, such as reading lists and lists of award-winning books.

· Before reading a particular book to your child, be sure to read it through once to yourself. This way, you can identify areas you might want to concentrate on later when you read it aloud.

· Be enthusiastic as you read. Show excitement, point to illustrations, and let your tone change with the story. It's fun to give the characters different voices, too. Make sure to give your child time to look at the pictures and ask questions. When words or phrases are repeated in a story, encourage your child to say them.

· After you're finished reading, discuss the book with your child. Find parallels between experiences in the book and those in your child's life to add greater depth and meaning to the story.

· Return to your child's favorite books again and again. Make books available to your child at all times by placing them on a shelf within easy reach. This invites your child to look at books whenever he desires.

· Encourage preschoolers to "write" their own books. Let your child dictate stories or the events of the day to you, and write them down word for word. Allow her to add artwork or pictures cut from magazines. Then, read the book back to your child.

· As your child grows, look for books on subjects that are of special interest to his experiences and expanding knowledge.

Reading to our children can do more than simply help them excel in school; reading to them can instill a love of books that will last them a lifetime.

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