In our last post, we went over some of the benefits your child can reap from getting a head start on learning to read. Reading comprehension is a great skill that will continue to serve them throughout the rest of their lives. Luckily, learning to read can be a fun bonding experience for you and your child. At A World of Discoveries, we offer reading sessions as part of our child care services in Columbia. Here, we will go over some tips and strategies to get your kid looking forward to story time.

For Babies

Obviously, before a certain point, there is no way to teach your baby to read, per se, but you can certainly expose them to it. Because babies are so attached to their parents’ voices, this will often have a calming effect, and may help them get to sleep. When deciding on what and how to read to your baby, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Pick Something Lyrical — Because you’re still mostly interacting through your voice, rather than the written word, make sure your reading material fits the medium. Anything with rhyme, alliteration, consonance, etc. is going to catch your baby’s ear and attention. When you read, make sure you’re enunciating, singing, exaggerating, and whatever else you have to do to hold and keep your baby’s attention.
  • Pick Something Visually Stimulating — While they can’t make all the verbal connections that a toddler has learned, you can lay the groundwork for language associations by reading to your baby. When choosing a book, pick something colorful and visually stimulating. Popup books work great. You want something that will hold your baby’s eye, and that you can point to as you read. Bonus points if it tells a visual story independently of the written one.
  • Let Your Baby Interact — When reading to your baby, let them interact with the story however they can. If they enjoy a certain part, repeat it. If they want to hold the book, let them. The end goal is to get them interested, so cultivate any interaction that comes naturally.

For Toddlers & Children

Many of the same principles apply for toddlers and children as they do for babies when teaching to read. Rhyme and repetition are still extremely important for engagement. Anything lyrically flamboyant, like Dr. Seuss Books, has a higher chance of holding your child’s interest.

  • Let Them Pick — Your kid is much more likely to stay interested in a book that they themselves picked. Give them some autonomy in choosing their books.
  • Discuss the Cover — One great way to get your child started on critical thinking while reading is to discuss the cover of the book before reading. Ask them what they think the book will be about, what they like about the picture and title, etc.
  • Critique — Children are never to young too start learning what things mean. After an engaging story, ask what your child thought about it. This can be a great opportunity for life teaching moments, as children’s books are chock full of learning experiences.
  • Relate — Ask your child how the story relates to them. If you can make reading personal, then it will come more naturally to them.

Hopefully this proves helpful. Here at A World of Discoveries, our Columbia child care services are tailored to safety, comfort and education. Reading time is a staple of every day. If you have more information about our services, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.