For 2-4 year-olds
- give your child time to look at the pictures before you read
- ask, 'Where's the...?' 'What's that called?' 'What's she doing?'
- always follow text with your finger as you read
- with familiar stories, see if your child can join in or finish phrases
- ask questions like: 'Why did he do that?' 'What happens next?'
- discuss things you both liked/didn't like and why
For children who understand most of what they hear, you need different books. Let your child choose, though some 'guidance' is often necessary.
You need these sorts of books:
- a variety of different types of language to read to your child (including poetry, traditional stories and mystery as well as everyday stories)
- a range of easier books with very few words, so that your child can begin to 'read' independently, by remembering a story which he has heard often
- books which your child really likes for whatever reason
Don't forget: the written word is all around us. We don't only read books - we read shop names, road signs, shopping lists, advertisements, birthday cards.... All are a chance to show your child how reading works. There is even a bit of jargon to describe this writing: ENVIRONMENTAL PRINT.