I absolutely love books, I always have. There’s something really comforting about settling down with a good book and indulging yourself into another world of fantasy and make believe. It is something I am keen for Addison to also enjoy and every night since she was born myself and my other half have read her a story.
I believe that this part of her bed time routine is so special. As she’s got older now it is lovely to jump on her bed together at bed time, snuggle up for a cuddle and read the story of her choice. I read to her and then she reads the book to me in her own way. Whether that be trying to copy the way I say words or just pointing to pictures and making up her version of the story.
This habit of reading to her has not only helped with her vocabulary, at nearly 3 it is wonderful to hear her say words like “amazing”, “beautiful”, “astounding” it has also helped her to develop her independence skills and she will quite happily sit with a book when she wants some quiet time during the day.
Even at this young age she has her favourite books including the That’s Not My series which are great touchy, feely books with simple words and pictures, The Smartest Giant in Town by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and probably like most toddlers The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child.
Addison can pretty much recite the Gruffalo now from start to finish and it is a little game we play to read it together at bed time and make up our own actions.
Studies have shown that reading to toddlers sets the foundation for later independent reading. However, before a child can do this they need our help as parents to cement their rudementary reading skills. These include:
- having a large vocabulary of words and knowing how to use them
- understanding that words are made up of smaller sounds
- understanding that marks on a page represent letters and words – we had a conversation this week about speech marks !!
- being able to know the letters of the alphabet
You don’t need games, flashcards, or special instructions for a toddler gain these skills. Just reading to your child as often as possible is the best way to help them read independently and to get some quality time together before bed or during the day.
Do you read to your child? If so what’s their favourite book?