When can kids start reading? The sooner you expose your child to a book, the quicker they will start enjoying reading!
There’s no specific age to start; children encounter words since they are born! There are signs, labels, magazines and hundreds of words around us and kids are looking at them. Those are the first written texts they will come across.
READ TO YOUR BABY
Learning how to read is not only about decoding words, it is much more complex than that. One of the aspects, and the one children learn first when they are read to, is the direction of pages in a book. While you read to them, show them the cover, say the name of the book, and flip the pages from right to left. This is something that we take for granted, but it is not a minor detail. Even if they can’t talk, they are absorbing everything as sponges, and showing them reading behaviours at such a young age is of great importance.
MAKE IT A CHOICE
Take them to the library, to the bookshop, or just have a box full of books so that they can choose the book they want to read or be read to. This will engage them more in the reading task and is the starting point for creating a good atmosphere. If you are uncertain of what books are good for your child’s age, you can ask their teacher or you can just trust your instincts! Most picture books are good for young kids; some of the best ones have rhymes that they can learn and enjoy.
If they find the “perfect” book, they will never get tired of it, and it will be a memory they will treasure for the rest of their lives.
We know that as busy parents it’s very hard to find a time to enjoy a book with your children, but it is a rewarding experience to which you should never say no. Reading right before bed is sometimes a good choice and sometimes a bit challenging as your child might be too tired to enjoy the story. Try to find a spot during the week/weekend in which it is “Reading Time” for children as well as parents. Be enthusiastic about it! If they see you enjoying it, they probably will too.
There are so many new good books to choose from, but don’t forget the classics! The Very Hungry Caterpillar is still a favourite among kids! Dr Seuss is great for teaching lessons through rhymes and Roald Dahl is super ingenious when it comes to teach good values.
“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.” – Dr Seuss