What to do with this activity?
Reading together is one of the best things you can do for your child. Find time to sit together and share a book sometime during the day. Five minutes can be enough.
Look at the pictures and talk about what you see. Name something and ask your child to find it in the pictures.
Run your finger under the words occasionally so your child’s eyes get used to going from left to right across the page.
Put on different voices for each character – this makes the story come alive for your child.
Stop sometimes and ask your child to guess what will happen next. Afterwards ask their opinion about the story - for example, “What did you like best?”.
If you don't have books in your home, your local library has lots of books for children and you can borrow them for free.
Reading aloud combines the benefits of talking, listening and storytelling within a single activity and helps to build the foundation for language development. From stories your child learns many things such as how to listen and concentrate, new words and understand why things happen. They also learn to put ideas in order, develop their memory skills, notice how spoken words relate to words on the page and learn how to predict. Reading gives your child a chance to develop their own opinions, build visual skills and learn how to handle books.
If you can spare 10 minutes a day to read with your child you can make a huge difference to their development. You don’t have to read a book, you could read a comic, magazine article or a story you have made up yourself. The most important thing is that you enjoy it, that way your child will too.
Remember a good storybook is one that you the reader and your child find interesting. It might be funny or entertaining. Ask yourself whether your child would enjoy it and be able to listen to it. Are the pictures well drawn? Is it well written? Do you like it? You may be the one reading it, over and over, and over!
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