Even if they cannot read themselves, children start recognizing patterns in storytelling, rhymes, phonetic awareness and letter and word recognition. As they listen to stories, it also increases their communication skills. They can ask questions and start making connections.
What to Read?
Not sure which books to choose? Start by finding a topic that interests your child such a favorite animal, character, or theme they can relate to. Also try rhyming books such as Dr. Suess, or funny dialogues like those found in books by Mo Willems. Lastly, take your child to the library and let them choose their own books without imposing any restrictions.
When to Read?
Anytime! Most children love a good story anytime, so be open to reading in the morning, afternoon as well as bedtime. Some parents like to keep a book bag in the car for those long drives, or when sitting in traffic. Children also love being read to as part of an ongoing story or fairytale. Try reading aloud to your child few pages each night of James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, or Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling. Reading aloud encourages children to anticipate story outcomes and helps them to unleash their imaginations.
Where to Read?
Children love spaces that are created especially for them. A cozy corner, or book nook, does not have to be anything fancy or expensive. Ideas include homemade pillow forts, mom’s bed, a window seat with pillows, or suspending a tent by hanging a sheet from the ceiling. Add a little warmth and magic with blankets, Christmas lights, or soft music. This space is also a great retreat for quiet time, pretend play, and crafts.