Early reading skills for toddlers

Learning to read is an important milestone for children.

To some children reading comes easy and it seems they were born bookworms, whilst to others reading is difficult and a chore.

Here are some ways that you can encourage your child long before they can read to have a positive relationship with books and reading .

1. Books

Encourage your children to love books by having lots of books in your home. Let your child page through them from a baby.

Let them see you reading. This peaks their curiosity and sets a good example that reading is done for pleasure.

Read to your child daily. As they get older let them read to you by telling you the story and turning the page.

A child needs to be interested in words and books to want to read.

2. Nursery rhymes

Nursery rhymes can be quite repetative but they are also very important for developing early reading skills. As your child rhymes the words they begin to recognise the sounds that make up the word.

For example :

at is in Cat and Mat

3. Talking

Vocabulary is vital. Your child needs to know the words they are reading. Therefore it is important to speak to your child and allow your child to speak to you.

Introduce new vocabulary daily if you can. Going to new places and paging through books opens up the option to point out new words.

4. Visual tracking

Visual tracking is the ability for your eyes to follow an object’s movement. Your child will need to follow along in the book from left to right in order to read.

You can start by pointing out the words as you read the sentence and asking your child to turn the page when you are done.

5. Building blocks

It may seem that building with blocks is not related to reading at all but your child needs to learn to move their hands independently and turn pages, by building with blocks they strengthen their fine motor muscles in their hands and teach their hands and eyes to co ordinate.

6. Building puzzles

Building puzzles helps to differentiate line, shape, size and direction … all skills needed to learn to read.

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