We all know that toddler reading or rather reading is fundamental, but we forget the key here that it’s also fun. It’s one thing to teach a child to read, but it’s quite another thing to teach a child to love reading. Most experts agree that teaching a child to read – to recognize letters and sounds out words and string words into sentences – is a process but left until child is ready, teaching a child to love reading is a process that can start long before your kid actually starts to learn to read. Here are some ways to nurture the love for reading:
Be selective for choosing Books: Choose books with large clear, bright, realistic illustrations that attract your toddler’s eyes. Now it is a good time to start introducing some very simple stories in prose. Heavy Board books, preferably with sturdy spiral bindings re ideal for toddler’s readings, keep the more delicate paper books for supervised reading sessions.
Be persistent: Many toddlers find it difficult to sit at one place and start reading for first few times, but persistence usually pays off. Establish a regular story time at least once a day. Generally if you have a reading routine before sleeping at night, it helps your baby to settle down and sleep easily. Even if it lasts just a few pages, but gradually, story time will become a cherished ritual. Don’t force your baby, let him generate interest for this.
Be Creative and Expressive: As a parent you know better what interests your toddler better than a book’s author does. So don’t read the words precisely as written, rather simplify and add special effects while narrating the story, this will greatly enhance toddler’s listening pleasures. Making appropriate voices for the character of stories, drop in commentary and explanations as needed.
Be Interactive: Long before your child can read, he or she can participate in the reading process.
First by pointing to various characters and objects in the illustrations, later by filling in the blanks in sentences or rhymes in book you’ve read over and over. When you read the story for the first time, look for characters, objects, colours and ideas your toddler is not familiar with, and take the opportunity to introduce them. Next time when you read the book, encourage your child to point them out or answer questions about them.
Be Brief: Short books and short reading sessions are best with a toddler who can’t sit still. Go from page to page and idea to idea quickly – to keep restlessness from setting in. And be ready to end story time after just a few minutes, if need be.
Be cuddly: Children who come to associate reading with the cozy comfort of being curled up on Mummy’s or Daddy’s lap, almost enjoy reading books later on.
Be a good example: Children of readers are much more likely to end up as readers themselves. Try to set time aside each day for your reading – even if you manage just one or two pages at a sitting. Such habits prompt your toddler to develop similar habits and you will be amaze to find him hunting for his book when he finds you reading a book.