Ever wonder how to raise a reader? The NY Times has put together a great section on reading, and literacy skills for the littlest readers! So just what are some of our SLP's favorite tricks that help foster a lifelong love of reading? Below are just a few of the top reading tips and tricks we teach our families during our sessions:
1. Read early and read often! Make reading a part of your daily routine, even before your child engages in reading activities.
2. Make reading fun. Involve the senses, when children are little let them feel (or even taste) the pages. Talk about what they are seeing - go beyond the words on the page.
3. Make it special. Have reading time be a special time between you and your child. Create a cozy nook in your house, snuggle on the couch, or lie on the floor. Making it a special time, will make your child love book time.
4. Let your child drive. Children often hit a stage where they want to hold the book, or turn the pages. Many parents become frustrated because it makes it hard to read the words. Skip the words, and comment on what the child is doing. Just playing and looking at books is building early literacy skills.
5. Expand! Choose books that your child might not be familiar with. Introduce them to new ideas, characters or concepts (e.g. islands, dragons, feelings, other countries, etc.) - allow them to learn through the pages of a book. In addition, add onto vocabulary, talk beyond the text, and relate the book back to you/your child's life.
For more information on children's books, and reading, check out the NY Times Book feature - we love the resources available for families on this site.