At My Place, your child will be exposed to books and stories on a regular basis. Young children are very interested in words and stories, and reading to a child often builds the foundation of literacy at a young age.
According to Psychology Today, “Reading and being read to enables 2- and 3-year-olds to use complicated sentences, manage memory of distant events, build general knowledge, access new information, and develop powers of reflection.”
Continuing to build literacy for Pre-K children is just as crucial. According to the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, observation and teacher assessments of older children “show positive effects of reading to children at age 4 to 5 on their reading skills at later age.”
Here are some ways to help bring literacy to life when reading to your toddler and Pre-K child.
Set age-appropriate standards
Parents of toddlers know that their child may not have the longest attention span. However, if your toddler acts distracted or moves away, that doesn’t mean they’re not still listening. Gauge your child’s attention span and work within the times they are most likely to be engaged. If your toddler is not enjoying reading or too distracted, try again later so you can maintain a positive association with reading.
Develop a reading routine
Reading to your child at the same time each day is an ideal way to incorporate literacy into your daily routine. Your child will begin to look forward to storytime, and will be more inclined to be engaged in reading.
Make reading an interactive experience
Even if your child has their favorite book memorized, it can be fun to stray from the text and improvise, or create your own version of the story based on the pictures. Ask questions about the story, why your child thinks the character feels or acts the way they do, and what your child thinks they’ll do next. This will help your child develop skills such as empathy and problem-solving.
Try audio options such as Tonie
Many adults enjoy audiobooks, and children can also benefit from hearing a fun and engaging story read out to them. Toniebox is an easy-to-use, screen-free player that operates via hand-painted figures called Tonies. These Tonies magnetically attach to the Toniebox and download a story, which is then played for your child. Options like this are engaging and put the power of literacy into your child’s own hands.
When it comes to developing your toddler or Pre-K child’s literacy, there are many ways to make it fun and create positive, lasting memories they will carry with them throughout their life.