Reading can be a difficult skill for young children to learn, which can make a reluctant reader out of a child who was formerly enthusiastic about books. When your young children begin to show an interest in independent reading, here are some tips to encourage them:
- Model the behavior. Make a conscious effort for your child to witness you reading
- Book baskets. A handy container with frequently rotated, themed or seasonal titles will always offer your child a fresh option.
- Allow free exploration. Especially for toddlers, allow them to explore board books by turning pages and looking at pictures independently.
- Shared reading. Take turns with your child reading aloud. This makes a great transition when a child is ready to "graduate" to chapter books.
- Book discussion. Be open to your child’s opinion. Even at a young age, allow them to express their opinion of favorite books and authors.
- Make the connection. While reading with your child, ask open-ended questions to guide them towards making a personal connection with the story. For example, if you are reading a book about horses, ask them to recall the last time they saw a horse.
- Reread favorites. Hearing a specific story over and over again can support language development.
- Have fun. Above all enjoy reading with your child! Like anything else, they can sense your attitude when you engage in these activities.