For many parents, snuggling up with their child and reading a book is a favorite bonding experience. But studies have shown that reading to your child may be much more important than most people realize. The time you spend reading with your child can have a significant impact on their language development and even their future success! The more words a child hears at a young age, the better their language processing tends to develop. However, not all language affects a child in the same way. Simply overhearing language or being exposed to it in a non-interactive medium, such as television, doesn’t seem to have the same effect as specifically child-directed language. Reading books to your child has been shown to be one of the most effective means of exposing them to a range of language at an early age.
Take a look at the following tips to help your child get the most out of story time:
- Get interactive. With children that are old enough to talk, bring them into the story. Ask them what they would do in the main character’s situation, or what they think will happen next. It will make the story more meaningful, and it’s a great opportunity to exercise critical thinking skills.
- Bring attention to the print. Early exposure to written print and associating it with spoken language can help develop literacy skills later on. Simply running your finger under the print as you go can help a child focus and make associations between written words and language. When your child is older and learning the alphabet, start asking about what sound each letter makes or how they think a word might sound.
- Expand vocabulary. Reading together is a great way to help you child develop a stronger vocabulary, which can significantly help them in school as they grow. Ask them what different words mean in the story. Try to figure out challenging words together based on the context of the sentence.
Want to learn more about how reading can help your child? Take a look at the following video from Speech Associates of NY’s founder and President, Jayne Latz:
If you have any questions or would like to know more about speech-language therapy, give us a call at (212) 308-7725 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to chat and answer any questions you may have.