Reading together is the most important way to help children get ready to read.
Shared reading increases vocabulary and knowledge about the world, and it helps children learn about written language. It also helps children learn to love books.
- Read together every day. Bring books with you to the doctor’s office, on the bus and wherever you go.
- Ask your child questions about the book and let your child turn the pages.
- Talk about the pictures in books. Wordless books are fun to share.
- Keep reading fun! It should be something you and your child love to do together, not a chore.
- Ask your librarian for great books to read. Here are some to get you started.
Read to your baby!
- Choose sturdy board books with lots of bright, bold pictures and very few words.
- Hold your baby on your lap while you read; the closeness makes reading together even more fun.
- Don’t worry if your baby loses interest quickly or tries to put the book in her mouth; this is normal and okay! If your baby is unhappy or restless, put the book away for another time.
Read to your toddler!
- Toddlers are learning to sit still for longer periods, so you can try reading books with more words on each page.
- Share books about animals and encourage your toddler to make animal noises.
- Toddlers love rhyming books and Mother Goose poems.
Read to your preschooler!
- Preschoolers enjoy all kinds of books about all kinds of things, and they can sit still for longer picture books with more words.
- When you go to the library, let your preschooler choose some of the books.
- Try sharing books about real things (animals, dinosaurs and trucks, for example) as well as stories.
- Point to the words on the page as you read them. This helps your child understand the connection between written and spoken language.