Reading to your toddler is one of the most enjoyable things you can do to with your child. It is fun, good bonding time and hugely beneficial to your child. It has a calming effect on the child.
Helene Goldnadel says that reading exposes the child to various different words and this improves the vocabulary of the child. The listening word starts to become the written word when he she enter preschool or kindergarten.
It establishes a routine. Like for example reading a couple of books before bed time - Reading a story before morning tea time.
And what about the effect it has on the child’s imagination - When you read a book to your child, the child imagines himself being a part of the story - He can get lost in the book and this so good for him.
Reading helps develops your child’s listening skills. It increases his attention span. Might not happen after one book, might not even happen after 10 books - But in due course you will see the attention span of your child increase hugely.
And here is the most important benefit of all - reading to a child will encourage him or her to become a reader. It will increase their desire to read for themselves.
It is also important that you pick the right books to read to your toddler. Pick books that are meant for toddlers. Pick books from good authors - award wining and good reviews.
Make reading a fun activity. Don’t force your child. When reading to your toddler, read for enjoyment - don’t read with a goal of getting him to ready by himself. Don’t think too hard - Some parents put their finger under each word as they read - I am not sure if this is a good idea for a story book at a such young age. It can honestly drain the fun out of the activity and your toddler will lose interest. Just read - Let your child enjoy the book and run wild with the story. Reading by himself, he or she will achieve in time.
Sometimes you can stop reading half way through and ask your child to guess what happens next. Allow him to explain in his own words - let him imagine and try and come up with the next part of the story.
After reading a story, you can also give a couple of events in the story and ask him which one happened first. All this will develop his comprehension skills and you can gauge how well he understands the story. Don’t do these activities all the time - Then it can become a boring and a chore to him.
Keep reading a fun activity. It is something your child should get excited about - So you design how it should be done and how it can be done based on your child. Keep it simple and keep it fun.