Get Ready To Read: How to let your child fall in love with books!

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Want your child to fall in love with books? We have tons of playful ideas, whether your baby is still chewing on pages or your big kid is tackling chapters on her own.

You can start by CREATING A FUN, COZY reading spot for your kids. That way, he/she can get more excited and look forward to reading every day.

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Infants are born with the impulse to make sense out of language and find meaning in the world around them. In a way, they’re already reading. Preparing your child for what comes later, such as decoding letters and words on a printed page, is largely a matter of fostering that innate ability. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics now advises pediatricians to encourage parents to read aloud to their infant daily from birth.

 

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Let’s talk about how we can help our BABIES AND TODDLERS learn to love reading at a young age!

Narrate the day. Talking to your baby may be the most important thing you can do to promote language development. There’s always something to say: “Wow, look at all these great books. Why don’t you pick one out, and then we’ll read it together?” It doesn’t matter if she’s too little to respond. Conversation helps your child become accustomed to hearing a stream of speech, and it stimulates the language pathways in her brain, says Judy Cheatham, Ph.D., vice president of literacy services for the U.S. nonprofit Reading Is Fundamental.

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Touch the text. For infants and toddlers, moving your finger under the words as you read them serves as a clue that those funny little symbols have meaning and are the source of the story, according to Amanda J. Moreno, Ph.D. assistant professor at the Erikson Institute, a graduate school in child development in Chicago.

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Be expressive. Create distinctive voices for the characters in a story, and use sound effects (“Bonk!”) and exclamations (“Oh no!”) where appropriate. You don’t have to be Steve Carell. Your child is probably the most receptive audience you’ll ever have, points out Dr. Moreno.

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Let your toddler be the teacher. Have him show a stuffed-animal friend how a book works. (“Teddy doesn’t know it’s upside-down. Can you fix it for him?”) Then, encourage your child to narrate the story from what he sees in the pictures.

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Read with your child, not just her. When you sit down with a magazine, give your toddler some board books to look at, too. “You’re showing her that reading is important to you, and she’ll want to imitate you,” says Dr. Moreno.

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BOOK AROUND THE CLOCK. Don’t wait for bedtime! Ease into your morning routine with a wake-up story, or bring out some picture books after lunchtime.

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From Smart Parenting (July 2015 Issue)

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