• Learning begins at birth. Sing songs, tell nursery rhymes and read to your child. Begin as soon as your baby is born.
• Set aside special times each day to read to your child, such as naptime, bedtime, or after meals.
• Select a place that is cozy, quiet and away from distractions. Then cuddle up together, laugh, be silly, relax and enjoy! Read with expression and enthusiasm. What children need most is a feeling of comfort about books and reading.
• Read children’s favourites as often as they want to hear them! Children are comforted by, and learn best from, repetition.
• Choose books that interest your child or relate to what is happening in your child’s life at the time, whether it’s a family trip or a new experience such as starting school.
• Allow your child to touch books, point to words and pictures and turn the pages.
• Read to and with children...don’t expect them to read. If they want to chime in with a word now and then, it’s a bonus, but don’t create any pressure around the time you spend reading together. Read at a leisurely pace with pauses here and there. This gives children time to take in what they hear.
• Model all kinds of reading with your children.
• Let them see you read the newspaper, the TV Guide, recipes, etc. Comment on what you are reading so that they see that reading has many purposes.
• Children treasure books they own. Affordable books can be found at yard sales, thrift shops, second-hand bookstores, as well as at public library book sales. Provide your child with a bookshelf or drawer for his or her own books. A subscription to a children’s magazine would make a wonderful present for a child.
• Take advantage of the local library. Find out when story hours are for young children. Build a regular trip to the library into your schedule. A library card is a free way of investing in your child’s future.
This information was provided by Halton Region. If you have questions, please call Halton Region 905-825-6000 Toll free: 1-866-442-5866 TTY: 905-827-9833.
(Published on The Parent Link on Mar 15, 2007)
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