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Not Just By the Books


By Aviva Patz

When it comes to reading, your child's first -- and most important -- teacher is you. "Children who have been read to since birth have a distinct advantage when it comes to learning to read," says Kathy Barclay, Ed. D., professor of early childhood education and reading at Western Illinois University. "They've had thousands of hours of what we might call 'literacy instruction' before even beginning kindergarten."

Ages 2-3: Introducing Books

  • Snuggle up with your toddler and a good, easy read -- preferably one with brightly colored pictures of simple concepts (shapes, colors, animals and household objects) and few words. Children are captivated by bright images and enjoy identifying pictures of things they see every day.
  • Nursery rhymes and books with repeating lines are great for this age because they teach about spoken sounds and words. Rhymes also build excitement about what comes next, which heightens the fun.
  • Point to each word as you read it to demonstrate that reading goes from left to right and to help your child grasp that the word he's hearing goes with the image he's seeing.
  • Sing the "Alphabet Song" early and often. Pause now and then to give your toddler a chance to fill in the letter that comes next.

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Categories: Pre-Schoolers, Children,

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