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Mother reads with toddler

Tips for Reading with Toddlers

It's no secret that children benefit greatly when adults read to them. The positive interaction builds neural connections in their developing brains, reinforces basic speech skills and boosts self-esteem by making them feel secure and cared for. We invite you to celebrate International Children’s Book Day next Wednesday, April 2, by finding a good book and reading to the special kiddos in your life!

Whether you are reading Mother Goose or Dr. Seuss, here are some tips to remember:

Don’t wait!
Studies show that reading may have a greater impact at ages 2 and 3, rather than 4 and 5. 

Make it a routine!
It could be at breakfast or bedtime or whenever it works best, but be sure to spend special reading time with your child every day.

Involve your child!
Pick out books together. Read books specifically for young children.

Ask questions!
Reading is particularly enriching for a child when you ask open-ended questions about the book, discuss your child’s experiences as they relate to the book and react to your child’s comments.

Visit a library!
Ask a librarian for books appropriate for your child’s age. Participate in activities—many libraries have a weekly storytime or sing-along for parents and caregivers and their babies and toddlers.

Don’t stop!
Some parents read less to their children when the children reach school age, assuming what takes place in school is enough. Reading in school is important, but additional gains can be made when parents continue reading to their children at home.

For more information: American Library Association;  Parent engagement from preschool through grade 3

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