Without a doubt, whether you read to your child or he/she reads to you, the rewards will always be the same. You'll not only be maximizing the chances that your kid will build strong verbal reading skills that will serve him/her well as she moves into the school years, you will also be fueling their growth as a full-fledged reader who will always love books.
It's not difficult to get children excited about books if you start when your kids are babies and always remember to
- Choose books that appeal to your child and that are age-appropriate, such as board books and sturdy pop-up books for babies and, for older toddlers and preschoolers, illustrated picture books with increasing amounts of text as they reach school-age
- Encourage your child to answer and ask questions about the pictures in the books they read as this is a great way to build both vocabulary and verbal skills, even with children who are not ready to read by themselves
- Stimulate your soon-to-be kindergartner's imagination by asking them not only why they think things happened in a book, but by encouraging them to create their own sequel ideas if they were writing a new book
- Require all family members (dads and older siblings included) to plan ahead so they can always participate each week
- Turn on the phone answering machine and turn off all electronic distractions in the house (except for appropriate music), including cell phones, computers, video game devices, television, battery-operated games and toys, etc.
- Select games for younger children that are age appropriate and that are naturals for you to play along with them, such as building with blocks or large Legos side by side with your child for toddlers or playing a game like I Spy with letters and sounds for preschoolers
- Play simple, but fun board games with school age children that are fun for everyone such as classics like Monopoly or Scrabble
What are your favorite ways of spending quality time with your children during the long winter months? Please leave a comment below and share.
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