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Keep the Pages Turning: Top 10 Tips to Nurture Early Reading Skills this Summer

Keep the Pages Turning: Top 10 Tips to Nurture Early Reading Skills this Summer

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - July 14th, 2023

Summer break is a time for fun, games, and relaxation for your little ones. But it’s also an ideal period to foster new skills, especially reading. This is particularly important for 3 to 5-year-olds, as this age marks a critical phase in language development and cognitive growth. So how can you, as parents, ensure your kids remain engaged with reading during these warm months and avoid the infamous summer ‘brain drain’?

Here are the top 10 tips to keep your children turning pages all summer long:

  1. Create a Reading Nook: First things first, create a cozy and inviting reading space for your child. It could be a quiet corner of the house filled with soft cushions or a special chair by the window. Make this nook attractive and comfortable so that your child looks forward to spending time there.
  2. Visit the Library: Take your child to your local library and get them a membership if possible. Libraries usually have summer reading programs specifically designed for young children. These programs often include storytelling sessions, puppet shows, and interactive reading activities that can greatly enhance your child’s interest in reading.
  3. Interactive Reading: When reading with your child, make it as interactive as possible. Change your voice for different characters, make funny sounds, and use lots of expressions. Ask questions and encourage your child to predict what will happen next. This makes reading a fun and engaging experience.
  4. Storytelling Sessions: Set aside a specific time each day for reading. This could be just before naptime or after dinner. Making reading a routine can help to instill a lifelong love for books.
  5. Choose Age-Appropriate Books: When selecting books, ensure they are age-appropriate. The best books for this age group are usually filled with bright and colorful pictures, have repetitive or rhyming phrases, and feature engaging characters. Some great authors to consider are Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, and Sandra Boynton.
  6. Use Technology Wisely: In this digital age, you can also use technology to promote reading. There are many educational apps and websites that offer interactive storybooks and reading games for young children. Just remember to balance screen time with traditional reading.
  7. Follow Their Interests: Does your child love animals, space, or princesses? Find books that match their interests. If your child is excited about the topic, they’re more likely to engage with the book and want to read more.
  8. Lead by Example: Your child learns by observing you. Let them see you enjoying a good book. Share your favorite parts of the story or discuss the book’s characters. When your child sees that reading is a part of your life, they are more likely to want to read too.
  9. Play Word Games: Engage your child in word games that build their vocabulary and comprehension skills. Simple games like ‘I Spy’ or ’20 Questions’ can be effective. This encourages your child to think about words and their meanings, supporting reading development.
  10. Patience and Praise: Remember, every child develops at their own pace. Be patient, and praise your child’s efforts, not just their achievements. Celebrate small victories like recognizing a new word or finishing a book. This can boost your child’s confidence and motivate them to keep trying, even when reading becomes challenging.

Reading can be a delightful journey of exploration and imagination for your child. With these strategies in place, you can keep their curiosity alive during the summer months, and beyond. And remember, the goal is to foster a love for reading, so keep the atmosphere light, fun

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