There is no bad time to reinvigorate your reading routine, however, the summer months provide an excellent opportunity to create your own schedule of activities. Reading with your child is an important element to include in your daily routine and it doesn't have to be a lengthy activity - the important part is that you do it consistently. Start by picking a certain time of day to designate as a 'reading period.' This can be part of your sleep routine or a during an establish quiet time when you and your child take a break from play or activity.
Start your reading journey by activating your child's background knowledge on the topic. Use the cover to ask questions such as "what do you think this story is about?" and "do you see something that looks familiar to you on this cover?" Engaging your child in a dialogue about the text will help build his/her interest, develop vocabulary, and support knowledge-building as they read the story.
Another important strategy is to start with a picture walk. This will help engage your toddler as they become familiar with characters in the story, learn about the setting, and make predictions with you about what might transpire with each turn of the page. Picture walks also open an opportunity for children to build a personal connection with the story. Making connections is a powerful learning strategy that improves comprehension and retention of information.
Toddlers are notorious for having short attention spans and a desire to be on the move. If your child resists sitting for an entire story do not worry. Simply make a point to consistently introduce a story each day, no matter the length your child is able to engage with the text. A few strategies for reading with a wiggly toddler include:
At the end of the day reading is a life-long skill that will serve your child a great deal. Take advantage of their interests and build on your own love of reading as you create special reading moments in your own family. Picture books, board books, and children's magazine are all wonderful tool when making reading accessible for your toddler!
ABOUT CHRISSY K
I am mom to three boys (one with several life-threatening food allergies) who will never own too many picture books or create Pinterest-worthy snacks. Simply Chrissy K is a place to find helpful tips on parenting that stem from my work with families as an educational consultant and parenting coach.
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