Good reading tips for parents of children aged under 3 years
Research shows that reading to preschool children is one of the most important things parents should do to prepare for their children’s future reading and learning activities. Reading is a really useful activity that exposes children to the beautiful world of language, grammar and interesting ideas. In particular, it stimulates children’s imagination and improves their concentration, enabling them to develop a good reading habit, and at the same time realize that story books are priceless treasures to discover. So what are fun and effective ways to read books to children? Here are “5 tips for reading to children under 3 years old” that parents can refer to.
1. Spend 15 minutes a day to help children create a good reading habit
Parents are always encouraged to spend at least 15 minutes a day reading to children from their birth. You can choose a fixed time every day to read with your child (usually before bedtime) to help form a reading habit. Of course, you can also read to your child whenever he or she wants.
If your child is under 3 years old, you should hold him or her on your lap while reading, which will make him or her feel warmer, more secure and comfortable. He or she will also feel that you are paying full attention to them, and willing to discover the book with them.
2. Choose age-appropriate books for your child
It is really important to choose an age-appropriate book. Children at different ages have different levels of development in terms of images, visual thinking and perception.
3. Ways to improve your child’s attention and maintain their excitement when reading
- Before reading, you should have a short conversation with your child about the cover of the book (such as the title, the pictures, the colors on the cover, the author’s name and so on). Read any book that your child wants to read, even if it is the same book every night or every week. Read slowly and seamlessly. Only stop when you need to explain difficult words. Do not go into details about the content and images in the book while reading.
- Point to each word when reading to model reading for children (from left to right, from top to bottom).
Read expressively, use different voices for different characters, and raise or lower your voice appropriately and engagingly.
- Encourage your child to clap or sing along while reading books with rhythms or songs.
- When reading a familiar or repeated phrase in the book, pause for your child to complete the sentence. Children usually love to finish sentences in books.
- Ask your child to help you turn the pages, and to find the characters/objects on each page of the book. Children often feel recognized if they can participate in reading.
- After reading, you should take time to talk to your child about the story in the book or simply express your positive feelings about it. You can say “Wow, this book is great!” or “I love you just as much as the mommy bear loves her cub.” The continuation of positive sentiments on the story will leave positive emotional imprints on your child from a very young age.
4. Remember that children do not necessarily have to sit still
Reading to children under the age of 3, especially when they are toddlers who never sit still, may make you frustrated at times. However, you should be patient and not give up. Choose other books, and if that still does not work, you can try again another time. Children under 3 love repetition, so as long as they find a book that they love, they can read it day in and day out.
5. Put story books within your child’s reach
Toddlers love to choose and view the books they like on their own. Therefore, you should keep books in a basket on the floor or on a low shelf, where your child can easily reach and view them. You can also keep some of your child’s favorite books in your bag, in case you have to wait for a doctor or stand in line for a long time, for example. Besides, you should take your child to a bookstore regularly so that he or she can choose his or her favorite books. This will make reading a more fun and charming habit to your child.