Early Literacy: Read

Reading to your child is one of the easiest ways to teach them early literacy skills.

Reading to your child is one of the easiest ways to teach them early literacy skills. Why?

  • Many children’s books contain words that we don’t use in daily life, so children who are read to develop a wider vocabulary.
  • Reading teaches children how books work and that spoken words can be written down, which is an important lesson!
  • Listening to stories teaches children the structure of stories, which helps them develop their narrative skills.
  • Reading books together introduces reading in a positive way. This teaches children that reading is fun—making them more likely to want to learn to read when they are older. 

How you read with your child is just as important as the fact that you read to them at all. Ask your child questions about the story and pictures while you read like: “What do you think will happen next?” or “Can you find this character on this page?” Then repeat and expand on their answers: “Right! This character is over here.”

Make reading fun. If your child wants to get up and move rather than sit still, don’t force it. Just because they are moving doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t still listening. 
 
Let your child pick the books they are interested in reading! They may want to hear the same book over and over again – which is a normal stage in early literacy development. If you need some ideas on developmentally appropriate titles, check out our booklists!

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