Learning to Read: How to Inspire Your Child

What You Can Do
Here are some helpful tips to help get your kids reading:

  • Buy books that are big and easy to hold. Toddlers can better grasp these books, which means they can take part in reading by holding the book and turning the pages. Also, look for books with bright, colorful, simple images. A book with busy pictures can be too much for toddlers.
  • When buying books for younger toddlers, look for ones that have very simple plots, like the "Spot" series. These books don’t have more than a few lines of text on each page making them easy to understand.
  • If your toddler is a bit older or has better grasp of language, then books that have a more involved plot are ideal. "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak is a well-loved classic and perfect for older toddlers.
  • Make the books more enjoyable and help bring them to life by doing different voices for the various characters. If you’ve read the book a million times before, then assign your toddler a role. Most likely, he’ll already have his part memorized.
  • Discuss what is going on in the pictures. Asking "What color is the elephant?" can help your toddler learn her colors and help expand her vocabulary.
  • Don’t forget to take advantage of your local library. Not only can you checkout numerous books for free, many libraries have children’s reading programs where young ones can sit and hear a story. Some readings may even be accompanied by puppets or live actors.
  • Encourage a love for stories by creating your own stories with your toddler. Use his paintings and drawings to put together his very own, one-of-a-kind book. You could even make it multi-sensory. Add a swatch of fake fur to his cat painting and dab a little lavender oil onto it for one lovely smelling, feeling, and looking cat.
  • Talk with your toddler to help expand her vocabulary and hear more about her interests.
  • Of course, don’t forget that toddlers learn best by example, so do lots of reading yourself. Whether it is a book, the newspaper or a magazine, seeing you read will help encourage your toddler to read.