There's no doubt that children learn so much from book reading. But did you know that your child can gain valuable language and literacy skills from exposure to books without even reading the printed words? Here's how.
Understanding the parts of a book is an important skill that helps children develop literacy skills and an interest in reading. Show your child the correct way to turn and hold a book. Point out and name the components of the book, like the title, front cover, back, words, letters, and pictures. These vocabulary words are so important for children to know as they participate in school (whether that means now or later on for your little one!). Take out another book and have your child take a turn finding these things as you ask where they are!
Point it Out!
Most children start pointing between 9 and 14 months. Pointing is an important skill that helps your child communicate before he or she is able to talk. Sit and flip through a book together with your child and point to the interesting pictures you see! You don't even need to read the words. Make a sound as you point, like "beep!" while pointing to a picture of a car, to keep things fun for your child. You can even try taking your child's hand and forming a point with their finger, then helping him or her point to pictures. Children learn best when they are engaged, so turn this into a game! For example, ask, "Where's the cow?" then, "here he is!" while helping your child point.
Tell Your Own Story
Let your child read the story to you! To encourage expressive language skills like formulating sentences, ask your child to make up their own story as he or she turns the pages in a book. Children are SO imaginative, and this activity lets their creativity shine.
Say that Again
Pre-readers or older children can benefit from listening to a story you read, then telling it back to you. It's okay if he or she doesn't get all the parts just right. The act of listening to the information being read and then retelling it encourages a child to use his or her memory, comprehension, and sequencing skills!
Teach your child that books are FUN! Happy Reading!
Amy Yacoub, MS, CCC-SLP | Speech Pathologist
Proud Member of The Story Box Family