Friday, November 11, 2016

Building skills through reading

From the desk of Katie Faragher, CPNP

A great way to start preparing your child for school is to start reading to your child as soon as they are born!

Connections are formed in a young child's brain when parents talk, sing, and read to them.  Language development, literacy, and social-emotional skills are built during this important time in child development. 

Age-specific reading tips are listed below to help your young infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school age children enjoy reading:

Newborns-Babies are happiest when cuddling in their parents arms.  They love responding to the emotion heard in their parents voices and reacting to the expressions that appear on their parents faces.

Infants- Reading sturdy books with colorful pictures will allow infants to explore their senses and develop fine motor skills.  They will start reaching for the books and will even try to put books in their mouth!

Toddlers-Toddlers are so activeThey learn by exploring the world around them.  After a couple minutes, they tend to be ready to move on to the next activity!  Toddlers love to sing, read, and talk; eventually,  incorporating these activities will help increase your toddler’s attention span. Reading should be part of a regular daily routine.  Toddlers love picking out their favorite books which helps them become more independent.  As toddlers grow, they are able to identify pictures in books, finish favorite sentences, and identify the emotions story characters are feeling!

Preschoolers-Imagination runs wild in this age group, which makes reading that much more enjoyable!  Children at this age love to ask questions and can tell you their favorite part of the story.  Navigate through the story with your child by asking them questions.  Questions such as “Where  do you think the princess is going?” or “What will the superhero do next?” will build conversation skills and help develop early reading skills.

School Age-Your child can now read on their own!  Let your child read their stories to you and continue to read stories that are at a higher reading level to your children.  This will enhance their vocabulary and reading skills.  Make trips to the library and pick out a variety of different books!

Happy reading!

To learn more about early literacy, please visit aap.org/literacy for further information.

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