Parents want the best for their children. Reading can open a window on the world, bringing chances to learn, enjoy and create. Even though schools teach reading and writing, home is the first and best place for your child’s love of reading to grow.

Begin to read to your child as a baby. While infants can’t understand your words, they love being close to you, hearing your voice, looking at pictures and touching the pages of a book. Singing songs and repeating nursery rhymes and fingerplays will build your child’s pre-reading skills. As your child grows, look at picture books and simple stories together. Leave time to talk before, during and after the story.

  • Talk about the pictures.
  • Ask your child to guess what will happen next. When little children look at picture books, they try to tell a story. They compare what happens in the story with what they know about life. For instance, many toddlers have a hard time learning to dress themselves. Yet they can laugh when a baby bunny puts both feet in the same pants leg.
  • Ask if your child liked the story. Why or why not? What was the best part?
  • The next time you read the book together, let your child retell the story as you turn each page. Your child will remember more each time.
  • Keep a bag with a few of your child’s favorite books and some new stories. Take it whenever you go out, in case you have to wait somewhere.

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