Taking time to read to your child during the day can make a big difference in their language development. Research shows that when caregivers spend time reading with their child, can increase the amount of new words that kids use. So how can caregivers make sure they are getting the most out of reading time with their child? Here are some tips:
- Ask questions during your time reading! Asking open-ended questions can help your child to think about what is going on and use their language skills to answer. Try starting your questions with “What, Why, or How”.
- Help your child out if these questions are tricky. Kids learn from hearing you talk so giving them an answer to your questions helps them to learn new words.
- Repeat what your child says! This gives them more language input and can encourage them to talk.
- Use books and topics that are interesting for both of you to make the activity exciting!
- Set aside time in your day that is meant just for reading. Pick a time that your child is ready to read. For example, after nap time can be good because they are rested and ready to go versus before bedtime which is meant to be a relaxing time and your child might not be ready to learn.
- Enjoy this time to talk to your child about the new things you read and discuss the things that are important to them!
Source: Dale, P. S., & Crain-Thoreson, C. Parent-child Book Reading as an Intervention Technique for Young. TOPICS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD SPECIAL EDUCATION, 1(6), 2.