Reading is widely recognized as the ultimate language activity. Through reading a child encounters new vocabulary and language concepts. Not only does reading out loud with your preschoolers have positive benefits for their academic success, but it is a great way to build relationships with your child as well as help him or her develop a passion for reading.
Here are some suggestions to make reading with your preschooler a positive experience:
- Be enthusiastic! Children will follow your lead – if you are excited about the story they will be too! Add your own emotion and twists into the pages of the book. Children love silly voices and it will only add to the enjoyment and entertainment of the book.
- Get the child involved in reading. Have children interact with the books; he or she can hold the book, turn the pages or point along with the words. Allowing the child to have a role in the reading experience will reinforce pre-reading skills, such as book orientation, reading progression from left to right and the significance of written word.
- Ask open-ended questions. Books are not only meant to be a receptive language activity, but also an expressive language task. Asking open-ended questions will help the child interact more with the story. Open-ended questions are unique in that it allows children to generate their own thoughts and answers. For example, “what do you think will happen?” or “how is he feeling?”. Try to stay away from yes-no questions or questions with one word answers.
- Do carry-over activities. The story within the book doesn’t have to end when the book is done. Have the child draw a picture of their favorite character or you can even act out his or her favorite scene. Your child could also retell the story in his or her own words. These activities will continue to reinforce the child’s love for reading as well as any concepts/vocabulary that he interacted with during the story line.
Here are some suggestions for books to read out loud with your preschooler:
- Pete the Cat books
- The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
- Corduroy by Don Freeman
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!