March is National Reading Month. Reading aloud to children is one of the most important activities that you can do together. It encourages language development and early literacy skills. Make this month as special as it is important as you celebrate reading with your children. Listed below are a few basic reading reminders.
- Let your child choose the books of interest to them- this ensures they will enjoy the reading experience more. Reading the same books repeatedly is okay.
- For children three and older, occasionally ask your child if they would like to “read” the book to you. Avoid correcting any mistakes as they retell the story from memory.
- Identify book parts together; cover, pages, spine.
- Discuss and use the terms author and illustrator.
- Point out the difference between a letter, a word, and a picture.
- For children four and older, point out sight words as you encounter them. Do this with enthusiasm and in a fun way- be sight word detectives.
Here are a few fun ways to bring reading alive this month:
- Buy a new book: Make a day of it and go to the bookstore. Allow your child time to walk around and find a book or two that you can read during special reading time, before bed, at rest time, or throughout reading month.
- Host a book swap: Instead of a normal play date, invite a few of your children’s friends to participate in a book swap. This allows them to share some of their favorite books with their friends while giving them a chance to try a new book.
- Make bookmarks: Gather some art supplies and make bookmarks so that your children can keep their place in some of their favorite books, or they can give them as gifts to their friends or grandparents!
- Visit the Library: Check out your local library. Most libraries host free activities for children of all ages. Check in and see what they are doing for National Reading Month.
- Introduce your favorite: Take some time to show your children your favorite book. Let them hold it, look at the cover, and give them a brief overview (this can vary depending on developmental levels.) Let them see you reading for fun occasionally.
It is never too early to read to your children. Start early to lay a great foundation for learning. Challenge yourself to take a few minutes every day this month to read aloud with your children. Enjoy this special month and honor reading together.