Reading books with young children is essential to their education and developmental growth. Children develop language and literacy skills before they are able to speak or read. During this critical time period it is important to read books aloud with children. Reading aloud has been shown to have benefits that extend beyond their early years. The benefits of reading aloud to children include increased vocabulary, better memory, more advanced listening comprehension, better reading comprehension and higher overall academic success. Before bedtime is a great time to incorporate reading in to your daily routine! Below are different ways to discuss what you’re reading with your child:
Talk about what you see
- Point to different characters and describe what they look like or what they’re wearing.
- Ask your child to identify colors, animals, actions etc. while you’re reading together.
- Describe what you see and ask your child to guess what you’re looking at (i.e. I spy something brown and furry with 4 legs—I see a bear).
- Label items in pictures and talk about where you might see these items in real life.
- In books with animals make the noises the animals would make and have your child imitate you.
Predict upcoming events
- While you’re reading the story, ask your child what they think will happen next. Offer your idea of what might happen next based on the story.
Make up your own story
- Feel free to make up your own story when reading books with your children. Use the pictures to tell the story and add your own twist to encourage their imagination.
- Before reading, look at pictures and ask your child to make up their own story or discuss what they think the book will be about.
Children are never too young to benefit from reading aloud!
Lori Paolini, M.S., CF-SLP, Speech Therapist, at Providence Pediatric Medical DayCare
Providence Pediatric Medical Daycare is a loving, caring environment for children with special medical needs. PPMD has daycare facilities located throughout Southern New Jersey, in Camden, West Berlin, and Atlantic City.