It’s never too early or too late to start reading with your child. Study after study has shown that stories help children develop key speech and language skills, and help enrich their imaginations as well as their vocabularies. If your child has a communication delay, it can be difficult to get him or her interested in reading, or to find engaging stories. Here are a few suggestions to help you find stories your child may enjoy:
When you are choosing a book for your child, pick one where the focus of the page is on the picture, rather than the words. Try to find stories with simple sentences, limited to one or two per page. This will help keep your child engaged in the story.
Pick a story featuring a character your child loves or a book about something of interest to your child. Reading a story that your child has a pre-existing interest in can help him or her pick up new concepts and ideas while reinforcing the lessons taught in sessions. Be choosy when you select books featuring licensed characters; many of them contain too much text to keep your child interested. A good tip is to select one of the Level 1 or Level 2 Early Reader books. These books feature many licensed characters that your child will love, and have just the right amount of text for children with limited attention spans.
Make reading fun! Be sure to carefully articulate each word and use expression in both your tone and your face to encourage your child to remain engaged in the story. Use your silly voice, your scary voice, your falsetto voice, and your lowest voice. Another tip is to add lots of sound effects while you read, such as KaPow!
Keep Books Handy
Keep books handy everywhere (e.g. your purse, the car, the kitchen, etc.) Sharing a story can be a great way to pass the time while waiting in line at the grocery store, or when visiting with family. Keeping a book or two in a number of handy locations will encourage your child to read on a regular basis, not just at bedtime.
[pb_box background_color=”f5f5f5″ border_top_width=”0″ border_right_width=”0″ border_bottom_width=”0″ border_left_width=”0″ padding_top=”40″ padding_right=”40″ padding_bottom=”40″ padding_left=”40″][pb_box_header][/pb_box_header][pb_box_text]Children who read on a regular basis have been shown to be more empathetic, perform better on tests, and have better language acquisition skills. One challenge many parents face is how to keep their child engaged and interested in reading as they grow older. Here are a few tips:[/pb_box_text][/pb_box]
Continue to Choose Interesting Stories
Don’t give up on reading aloud too soon. Even when your child can read independently, he or she will still benefit from listening to you read old favourites and new adventures. Children enjoy reading stories that have meaningful connections to their lives. Talk with your child about those connections, and ask questions about how the characters in the book relate to people in your child’s life. For example, if the story is about a teacher, as your child if he or she thinks his or her teacher is the same or different than the one in the story.
Encourage your child to ask you questions if he or she doesn’t understand a word or concept in the story.
Predict the Future
Encourage your child to become a detective and try to figure out what will happen next in the story. Ask him or her why certain events may take place or why certain characters behave the way they do.
Stay In Touch With Your Library
Many libraries, including those in the Kingston area, have free library cards for children and offer many literacy programs for children of all ages. Make the library part of your routine by visiting once every week or every other week.