Some kids pick up reading more easily than others. Here are some tips that can help you prepare your toddler in advance for the fun that comes with learning to read.
The first and most important step in preparing a toddler for reading is something you might already do, talk, talk, talk…. Say and name everything you do, everything you look at, and everything around the room. This can be done without much thought or advance planning. When you’re folding laundry and the child is in the room, name each piece of clothing. Announce when you’re turning on the tv, or even going potty…there’s a word that will be familiar all too soon, if it’s not already!
It’s also important to set aside some time every day to read to the child. Story time doesn’t have to be long, but when it’s story time, do be present with the child. Read and re-read your toddler’s favorite books and watch as his or her attention span becomes longer and longer.
If your children become distracted during reading time, don’t make them stay until the story is done. Give them the freedom to explore whatever peaks their fancy at the moment, and don’t forget to name it! This will make story time even more special when they figure out how great and magical it can be.
Share in your toddler’s excitement as objects are discovered and memorized. Reading and learning the alphabet are all about memorization so the more repetition when reading, the better! When your child picks out the moon in the book you’ve read 9000 times, be just as excited as you were the first time. This shows your child that reading is exciting.
Praise when they get words or pictures correct, and just move on when they don’t. Reprimanding for incorrect answers is not beneficial to the child. The more time you spend, and excitement you foster, the more learning your child will want to experience.