Naturally, most children love reading and are bound to be very excited when it is story time. However, some children are not very enthusiastic and find it more of a chore than an adventure. Therefore, cultivating a love for reading in a child is one of the most valuable things a parent can give to their children. Here are three ways to foster your child’s love for reading:
For young babies in daycare, make a habit of reading to them books with faces and illustrations on a regular basis. As you read to them, hold them close as you also point out things to them. Doing this will help them associate reading with warm and cozy feelings. Children enjoy repetitive sequences and so one book may become a favorite and may be requested time and again. Studies have shown that repetition actually helps with a child’s ability to memorize key words and speech patterns.
As they grow bigger, add books with textures that will stimulate their senses. Add board books with simple text and illustrations that they can hold on their own. Select simple books that reflect everyday life around you as well as familiar topics like bath time or meal times. Between the ages of 1 year -18 months, it is important to help them connect what the story is saying to what is happening around them so go ahead and make a “book nook” for your toddler.
This is done by laying an old soft blanket in a corner surrounded by their favorite stuffed animals and story books. At first, lead them to the area and sit with them as you read together. Before long, they will start going to their special place on their own.
During child care when reading to your child, point out important words and ask them to point to the picture on the page. You can also stick words around the house to label everyday things such as chair, bed, window etc. This will help in memorization of everyday words. As they reach preschool years, focus on the topics or titles that they have selected and expand activities to reinforce those ideas.
Incorporate art projects as they are great for helping children experience learning in a different way. Fostering their creativity with art contributes not only to the development of their right brain, but also gives them an opportunity to use their small motor skills as well.
At this stage if your child has a favorite story, request them to re-tell it to you and praise them when they do so. Re-telling stories during child care is an important way for children to learn comprehension as well as giving the care giver an opportunity to know the type of stories they enjoy. It will also enable you to assess their understanding of the story.
Since learning is an individual process, helping to prepare your child is an important exercise and a step in the right direction. If you manage to foster your child’s love for reading, it will go a long way in establishing a strong foundation for their future learning.
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