Most of us are familiar with the research revealing how important it is to read with children every day. And most of us have every intention of doing that. However, daily life, with all its tasks and distractions can get in the way of realizing our best intentions. Therefore, purposefully, scheduling time to read with your child is one of the most valuable things you can do as a parent. There are many reasons why reading with your child is so critical:
- Your child gets your undivided attention and closeness, which is something they want more than anything.
- It encourages your child to experience the joy of reading. Children who love to read not only do better in school, but also become lifelong learners.
- It helps to develop your child’s language and literacy skills.
Let’s explore how reading with your child helps to develop their vocabulary, which is the amount of words a child knows and understands in oral language. A large oral vocabulary is the foundation of ongoing language and literacy development. Reading books aloud exposes your child to all kinds of words, including spicy words. Spicy words are new, interesting, rich, and increasingly complex words.
Here are some tips for how to promote vocabulary development while reading with your child:
- Read with lots of expression.
- Add your own comments and thoughts as you read to help your infant connect with the story.
- Use spicy words to describe what you see in the pictures. For example, use words like “gigantic” instead of “big.”
- Point to pictures and ask your child to describe what is happening.
- Show your child the front of the book and ask what they think the book may be about.
- Use spicy words that help to extend vocabulary, such as, “He looks frustrated. Why do you think he is frustrated?”
- Give your child the opportunity to express what they feel and think about the story.
- Ask your child open-ended questions about the story, pointing out spicy words or words that are unfamiliar.
- Point out interesting words and invite your child to use context to figure out the meaning.
- Highlight words that have multiple meanings.
No matter what type of book you’re reading, remember how beneficial the practice is beyond the pages. Reading with your child is not about getting to the end of the story, it’s about the interactions and conversations that occur along the way—before, during, and after.
At Rising Stride Child Care Centers, we read to our students daily, helping them gain a love for reading and develop an understanding for language. Pick up a few of these books and schedule a tour at Rising Stride today! Or contact us with any questions you may have.