For the Love of Reading: Tips and Tricks for Reading to Young Children

Story tellingDid you know that your child’s reading ability impacts their learning in school? Studies have shown that children who love reading are more inclined to do better in their academics than children who only read because their teacher requires it or those who don’t like reading.

As a parent, it’s your responsibility to instill and foster a love for reading to your children, but how could you do that?

  • Search for books that you know your child will love, especially those with themes about animals or specific activities. For younger children, go for board books and vinyl books so that you won’t have to worry about your child handling them.
  • Choose books that have simple words and short sentences, so you could turn the pages quickly. Younger children love simple poems and rhymes so look out for books with those, too.
  • Preschools in Youngstown, Ohio recommend keeping the reading time short, perhaps 15 minutes to an hour. If you’ve flipped up to page five and your child doesn’t want to continue anymore, choose another book. If that doesn’t work, let them play for a bit and try again later.
  • Get a story time routine going. If possible, read at the exact same time every day. Do this when your child is relaxed, like waking up, after taking a bath, or before napping. Create simple rituals. Have your child choose what book to read and end it by asking questions like “What part of the story did you like best and why?” or “Who’s your favorite character?”
  • Channel your inner Hollywood actor. Read to your child animatedly, with animal sounds and different voices. Include questions and commentary, as well as opportunities for your child to show their reading comprehension. For example, you can ask, “Where’s the dinosaur going?” or “why is the kid upset?”
  • Let them see that you (and other family members) regularly read, too. Allow your child to see what you’re reading and perhaps read a snippet of what you’re reading to them.

Keep in mind that being a young child is all about exploring and action. Encourage consistent language development as well as interest in reading by making certain that reading time is engaging and lively.