Sharing a book with a preschooler might be a short activity and that’s OK!
Keep these tips in mind while nurturing a love for reading in your children:
· Imagine the goal of the experience is sharing rather than teaching or testing.
· You don’t have to control the experience or finish the book. Holding a book, flipping pages, and pretending to read are all good skills.
· Let your child pick out the book and let him hold it.
· Sit face to face with your child so you can respond to the things he points to or talks about.
· After turning the page or reading a section, wait a few seconds to see what your child shows interest in.
· Skip the printed words and offer your own grammatical sentences that match the pictures or your child’s interest.
· Explain what new words mean by acting them out and relating them to your child’s experiences. This is a good place to talk about new words that express feelings, descriptions, or actions. Repeat new words several times.
· Engage in conversations that the book inspires. Relate ideas and concepts from the book to your child’s own experiences (e.g. “Remember when we went to the zoo…”
· Revisit favourite stories often. Preschoolers love repetition and the comfort of predictability.
Visit Hanen.org for more information.
Kelly, Speech-Language Therapy Assistant