Reading with toddlers and preschoolers is an important part of their development. It’s not only a way to bond with children, but it also helps them develop language skills, increase their vocabulary, and get ready for school. But sometimes getting toddlers and preschoolers interested in reading can be a challenge. In this blog post, we’ll outline the benefits of reading with toddlers and preschoolers, as well as provide some tips on how to encourage literacy.
Let Children See Reading Valued
One of the best ways to get children interested in reading is by showing them that reading is important. Whenever possible, let children see you reading a book or newspaper. Read signs, labels, and lists out loud, running your finger under the words as you read, and making the details come alive. Demonstrate how interesting the world of text is.
Clothing tag: “90% cotton, 10% spandex. Spandex! What a fun word. Kind of like a rubber band that you can wear as clothing. It’s used in clothes like leggings and superhero costumes because it allows people to move around easily and feel comfortable.”
Information on food container: “60% of your daily vitamin C! That means that this snack …
Bandaid box: “CVS Brand. Did you know that stands for Consumer Value Store? Sometimes letters stand for whole words.”
Tiny sticker on apples: “Look at that teensy tiny little sticker! It says ‘93283 organic honey crisp apple.’ Did you know that the “9” on fruit and veggie stickers means it is organic?”
Create a Cozy Reading Nook
When it comes to reading with toddlers or preschoolers, setting up a cozy spot can help create an inviting atmosphere for them to explore books. Make sure to have plenty of comfortable cushions or blankets nearby so they can snuggle up and relax while enjoying a story together.
Visit the Library
Visiting the library together is another great way to get children interested in reading. Not only does it allow them to explore different genres and titles, but it also gives them access to plenty of free resources like storytime events, children’s book clubs, puppet shows, craft activities, and more! Plus it’s great for teaching kids about responsible borrowing habits from an early age.
After a Visit to the Library — So Many Books!
Incorporate Books into Other Activities
Incorporating books into activities like during transitions and in learning centers can help promote literacy too!
Use Voice Inflections While Reading & Do Letter & Sight Word Hunts
To keep things fun for toddlers and preschoolers while you’re reading aloud, use voice inflections whenever possible—this will engage them more than plain monotone readings would! Also, try doing letter hunts (finding specific letters on pages) or sight word hunts (finding words that children have learned by sight and do not need to sound them out)—these are great ways to reinforce their early literacy skills while still keeping things lively enough so they don’t lose interest halfway through the book!
Ask Children to Make Predictions about What Happens Next
Asking children what they think might happen next in the story can help keep their attention engaged as well as stimulate their problem-solving skills. This activity may even encourage critical thinking skills as they come up with predictions based on evidence from earlier parts of the story!
Choose Diverse Books
Finally, make sure you are choosing diverse picture books with characters that look like the children. This helps children see themselves reflected in the stories. When children see characters that look like them or have similar experiences to them, it can boost their self-esteem and sense of belonging.
Reading is an incredibly important part of a child’s development—it helps build language skills, increases vocabulary, and stimulates creativity. For childcare providers who want to nurture these qualities in young children, there are many strategies available including:
- letting children see that reading is valued by those around them
- creating a cozy reading nook
- visiting the library
- incorporating books into daily activities
- using voice inflections when reading
- running fingers under each word as you read
- doing letter/sight word hunts
- asking children to make predictions about what happens next
- choosing diverse picture books
All these methods will help encourage young children’s natural interest in literacy while providing bonding opportunities between adults and children alike. With these tips in mind, you can help children develop literacy skills and get children interested in reading!
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