Tag Archives: how do i teach my child to read

Using books to help toddlers learn to express themselves

As well as building a vocabulary that names objects and living things such as chair, table, dog, cat etc, it is important for children to eventually know words that allow them to express their feelings. A good starting point is always love, happy and sad. As they get bigger and their understanding grows, add more words.

Books are especially useful in getting your child to talk about things that may be on their mind – such as a picture of a cat may prompt the response ‘I don’t like cats’ and will give you the opportunity to talk to them about why. Just recently with our 2 and a half year old BB, I was leafing through some old Mr Men books that had been boxed up for years. He leafed through a separate pile he kinda chose by being attracted to particular colours and images on the front as I briefly looked through the whole stack going ‘oh, i remember reading that with Inks, your sister. oh and that one. And that one was her favourite. This one was mine…’ Eventually he got captivated by a page he kept turning back and forth in a particular book before saying ‘Mummy, she’s sleeping. She’s awake’. – when I looked on one page the character had her eyes shut and on the other they were open. He then went back to the sleeping page and said ‘She tired’. Yet in another book there was someone portrayed with an upside down smile and BB said ‘She’s sad’.

You can also talk about your feelings:

” I love you soooo much” (obviosuly at teh top of the list ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
” I’m excited”
” I’m so happy”
” I was worried because…”
” It was a bit scary….”

As well as ask questions:

” Are you happy? ”
” Are you tired? ”
” Do you like XXX or YYYY better?”
” Did you enjoy yourself today? “

Remember – DON’T rush them or get frustrated if they don’t ‘get it’ straight away – repetition is the key and being able to relate to a situation or emotion. A nod or shake of teh head indicates they understand. Words will come later ๐Ÿ™‚

RELATED LINKS:

Ideas on book sharing with your children

Extending Childrenโ€™s Vocabulary with Picture Books and Stories

Taking books out and about
Reading with toddlers and children
Remembering and joining in with stories
Helping to develop your childs speech and vocabulary

Ideas on book sharing with your children

* Choose a quiet place where there will be no interruptions from the TV, stereo etc

* Obviously with a young child, you will need to be next to them when book sharing so you can look at the pictures together. This could be a cosy reading corner, laying on your fronts or backs in bed, on the sofa, down the beach, in a park – you get the picture.

* If they are older and it’s a longer story then they may want to lay in bed with you sitting near them and reading so they can just listen – like a real life audio book ๐Ÿ™‚

* For younger children colourful books with interesting, captivating stories are best. Of course, as their attention span grows, so will the length of the story. Inky used to love Julia Donaldson, especially ‘Room on the Broom’. Amongst many, many, many others….

* If you are new to reading out loud, you may feel nervous or silly. DON’T. Your child(ren) love you unconditionally and will not criticise you. On the contrary – it will bring you closer. Plus the more you read the more practise you get and your confidence will increase.

* When you start reading a book, it can be a good idea to read the title before you open it, even if you’re reading it for the millionth time! Even from an early age this will show children how a book works – that you start at the front then turn the pages to get ever deeper in to the story. Eventually as they ‘get it’ and if its a book read many times before, they will relish turning the pages themselves and may even want to hold the book,

* DONT rush reading to your child(ren). Equally, if they have questions about what is going on in book take your time responding. In turn, if you ask them questions relating to the story, give them time to respond. Try and ask questions that don’t just require a yes/no answer.

* Point to the pictures and relate them to something your child knows. Such as tree, flower, grass, dog, cat etc. It is sooo cute and heart warming (proud parent moments, trust me I’ve been there ๐Ÿ™‚ ) when they start pointing at the pictures themselves eventually naming what they see. This builds up their vocabulary. ย As they get older you can add in colour, like look at the brown dog, look at the purple flower etc. Another achievement.

* Follow the words with your finger. Remember, at first you are not teaching them to read, especially toddlers, but they will begin to see that the black squiggles are very important because they are telling the story.

* I cannot express the importance of this enough – ENJOY!!!! Book sharing is heaps of fun and just another perfect excuse for extra cuddles ๐Ÿ™‚

RELATED READING:

Reading with toddlers and children