It’s Not Just About Reading
Reading is an important and fun activity to experience with your child. There are so many benefits to the time spent reading to your child, listening to them read to you, and talking about the story afterwards. Listed below are some of the things that you can do to make the experience of reading even more beneficial and engaging for you and your child.
To make reading more meaningful and exciting for your child, ask them to tell you their own story or make up a story together. You and your child could also recreate the ending of a familiar story to enjoy a whole new adventure. As you read books together, make sure to be animated and engaged in the story, use your voice and change your facial expression to make the story more memorable.
Take A Hands On Approach
Many skills are being developed while you and your child are reading. Page turning is a movement that crosses the body’s midline, an important precursor to developing hand dominance and a requirement for the development of other fine and gross motor skills, cognitive skills, and self care tasks. Similarly, left to right and top to bottom orientation help to lay the foundation for a variety of other skills learned later in life, such as reading and handwriting.
Identifying shapes and colors is an early milestone, and reading books with your child books is a great place to begin learning. An understanding of the difference between pictures and words and the concept of “words” is developed as you point to them while you read to your child.
The following areas of development are also targeted during story time:
Fine Motor Skill Development
- Page turning to promote hand dexterity
- Finger isolation while pointing at words and pictures
Speech and Language
- Receptive Language (listening to and understanding language) is developed by encouraging your child to point to pictures and words in books. Prompt them by saying, “Point to the _________.” Or “Show me the __________.”
- Expressive Language (speaking and using language to communicate) is developed by having your child label pictures and words in books, and telling or retelling stories.