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How to Encourage Your Preschooler to Read

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8 ways to get your kid to like reading.

There’s no need to wait until your child begins school for the process of learning to read to begin. In fact, by teaching some fundamentals and instilling a desire to read into your child at an early age, you can pave the way for greater success throughout the school years and right on into adulthood. While different techniques work best for different children, here are eight ideas for helping your preschooler develop a love for reading.

1. Read books together before bedtime.

This is perhaps the most basic way to introduce a child to reading, and it really serves two purposes. First, it introduces your child to books. Second, it helps your child settle down and prepare for bed. When used as part of an evening ritual, it can make it much, much easier to place your child in bed. At first, your child may “help” you flip through the pages before you are finished reading the previous page. That’s okay for now. Eventually your child will sit and listen to each and every word.

2. Teach your child the alphabet.

Begin by simply singing the “A-B-C” song together (based on the melody from “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”). Then start to show your child what the letters look like and the sounds they make. Focus specifically on the letters from your child’s name, as this will engage greater interest.

3. Join a book club for young children.

If your child attends a daycare or an early learning center, you may already have access to a wealth of books for pre-readers and early readers. If not, check for age-appropriate resources online, at the library, or at a local bookstore.

4. Combine reading with other activities.

For example, while you are potty training your child, you can sit with him or her and read potty-related books. Point to the words as you go so your child will begin to associate the spoken words with written words.

5. Use a read-along book with an accompanying CD.

Books on CD can rescue you from constantly being asked to read while still providing a reading experience for your child. Typically with the help of audio cues, your child can flip through the pages while listening to the story being read.

6. Introduce your child to online talking eBooks

Some websites offer free online talking eBooks with a read-along feature. You can read these books together with your child on any computer, iPhone, iPad, as well as on most other smart-phone and tablet devices. These eBooks are usually easy to use and your child can follow along with the story independently, without needing your constant help.

7. Use educational DVDs with entertaining education programs

DVDs with sing-along songs usually show the lyrics across the bottom of the screen, helping your child to learn the words and sing along with each song. There are also many educational DVDs with fun and entertaining education programs, through which your child can learn about colors, shapes, the alphabet, counting and much more.

 8. Take advantage of age-appropriate computer programs.

In particular, the iPad offers a vast array of apps to help young children learn to read. Many of these apps are free and simple to use. By placing words and/or letters within the context of a game, your child will begin to learn to read without even realizing it. It’s never too early to begin the learning-to-read process. While children learn and grow at different rates, the exposure to reading at a young age greatly enhances their cognitive skills and future potential.

 

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