Reading is commonly known to help develop a child’s early literacy skills. Apart from getting familiar with words and language, reading stimulates curiosity and sparks a child’s imagination. When do we begin encouraging our little ones to read? Don’t hesitate to do it as soon as they are born. They can’t read but they can hear you. By diligently reading to your child, it builds their listening and memory skills. As you read, show him the colourful pictures and shapes to stimulate his senses and engage his mind. If you missed the opportunity to do so when he was a baby, here are some tips to ignite your child’s love for reading now!
Tip #1: Regular library visits
Make an effort to visit the library with your child at least once a week. Apply for a library card so that he can check out his own books. It cultivates a sense of ownership and he will feel like a “big kid” with greater responsibilities. With the next visit to the library, he will feel more excited than ever. Local libraries often host events and it makes library a fun and interesting place to visit. Some libraries provide storytelling, fun activities and even encourage participants to dress up as story characters, making the stories come alive.
Tip #2: Never give up on your child
Once your child learns to read, encourage him to continue reading and don’t let him stop. There will be times when your child prefers a toy to a book, but don’t give up now! Continue to encourage him to read and provide him with opportunities to do so. It will benefit him in the future. Sometimes, a book may be simple to read but not interesting enough for him. On the contrary a book with a more interesting storyline might interest him, but he may not be able to read it. A better option would be to read to your child, keeping him fascinated with the development of the story, which will motivate him to become a proficient reader. In times of struggle, remember to always be supportive and encouraging.
Tip #3: Bring the stories to life!
Read with an expressive voice, act out the characters in the books and invite your child to do the voices for some characters too. If you have read the book to your child before, your child can dress up as his favourite character, making reading session a more memorable experience. You can even provide props to create an engaging experience for your child. Make reading an adventure!
Tip #4: Be a reader to grow a reader
Your children look up to you as a role model no matter what you do. Let your child see you read and let him know that you are an avid reader. You can even have the family gather on a weekend to read together; it can be about the world, books with movie adaptation or even the newspaper. Reading materials are endless and can be in any form.
Tip #5: Making reading a habit
Schedule a time to read a book to your child when they will be able to fully immerse in the stories. One of the popular timings is during the night where bed time stories are told to coax children to sleep. Children may be so drained that by the end of the day, they are unable to concentrate on the story and they will doze off instead. As long as your child can benefit from these story telling sessions, the timing for a story telling is fluid, you can squeeze in a small reading session during meal times or even before nap time.
In Little Footprints Preschool, we provide progressive literacy programme that encourages listening, speaking, reading and writing skills which helps develop children into confident communicators. To further enrich their learning experiences, our programmes introduces children to quality literature. Interested to find out more about how we enhance language skills for our children? Sign up for a school tour with us today!