Parents worry endlessly about how early in development their children should be reading. It has become a competition among parents: “My daughter is only 2 and she’s reading” or “My son has already begun reading chapter books!” While these feats are surely commendable, it isn’t always healthy to place the emphasis on one-upping other children. With that being said, encouraging children to start reading will help them in the long run. The following list describes a number of methods for coaxing your child into being interested in reading early.
- Read books out loud often to your toddler. The more your child sees you reading books and feels your engagement, the more interested he will become. Even if he cannot understand everything you’re saying when you read aloud to him, the noises and words are stimulating his brain and allowing him to form his ability to speak.
- Have books available to your toddler. You fill your child’s room with countless toys; why not fill his room with books? If they become a part of his surroundings, he will be more likely to pick them up out of curiosity. It’s hard to inculcate a love of books if they aren’t even around. Explain to him that books are special and show him how to use them, even if he can’t yet read.
- Involve your toddler in the reading process. This could simply entail letting him turn the page of the book or ask him to point out certain images on the page.