Reading Helps Develop Language

Reading grows your child’s brain. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents read to their children from birth. Thirty minutes every day is ideal; however, if thirty minutes at one time does not work for your family, try reading ten minutes at a time, three times during the day. Reading to your child can improve language skills and future academic success in reading, math, and science. Here are some useful tips when you are reading with your young child:

  • Go to your local library and let your child choose books that look interesting to them.

  • Talk about the pictures. You can talk about what the characters are doing, as well as what colors, shapes, numbers, and objects you see on the pages.

  • Expand your child’s language. If they point to a picture of a dog and say, “Dog”, talk about what the dog is doing. For example, you could say, “The brown dog is eating.”

  • Use an animated voice to build suspense and interest while reading. Also, books with flaps or pictures that slide are great for creating anticipation.

  • Use your finger to track the text while reading.

  • Connect the story to your child’s own experiences if possible. This will help your child understand the concepts better.

  • Ask open-ended questions such as, “What do you think will happen next?”

  • Ask comprehension questions like, “What happened at the beginning of the story?”

  • To extend learning, act out the story after you read the book.

  • Most importantly, have fun!

Katherine Reid, M.A., CED

Early Intervention Therapist

St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf

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