Reading to infants and toddlers is a great way to develop emergent literacy skills. For toddlers, learning to read is not the ultimate goal, but reading at an early age will build an interest in books and language skills. Parents and caregivers are a vital component of the child’s experience with reading and language. When you are reading a book to a young child, make the book fun and animated. If you are enjoying the book, a child will respond to the book with more eagerness and ability to sit and listen. Using silly faces and voices make a book much more enticing!
Here are more helpful tips to create a literacy rich environment:
- Ensure that books are visible and at the child’s level
- Use books with repetition
- Use sign language for certain books and sign the word in addition to reading (Brown Bear, Brown Bear is a great one!)
- Read a variety of books and board books. Select books that appeal to infants and toddlers. Look for bright colors and sharp contrasts between the pages.
- Choose books with simple plots
- Allow older toddlers to turn the pages of books, or lift the flaps
- Use books to help with transitions or as a filler activity
- Make a book together, featuring family or artwork
The tips above highlight ways to build upon the natural curiosity of young children to gain a solid foundation of early literacy skills! Happy Reading!