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Reading out loud to your child is a great boost for their learning. It is also a wonderful way of spending time together, especially at bedtime.
As you read, show your child words that rhyme and show them how words that rhyme often have the same ending - like "cat" and "sat" or "mouse" and "house". Enjoy story books that have fun with rhymes, like Dr. Seuss's "Do you like green eggs and ham?". Here it is read aloud on Youtube.
You can borrow books for free in your local library. Just go in and ask to join up and ask the librarian for suggestions. They are there to help you. Find other books that have lots of rhymes, like "The Cat in the Hat" and "Sheep in a jeep".
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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