Gramps Jeffrey

Children's Book Author

Can you teach your toddler to read?

Can you create a little bookworm at your home? Though reading is normally related to the early grade school-going kids, parents can help promote reading skills earlier. Teaching your toddler to read is a big challenge for parents nowadays. Let’s look at some of the tricks you can do at home to promote reading. 

Keep in mind that children learn at different rates. For example, a 3-years-old child of your friend might read books at a second-grade level but, these are very rare cases. Don’t feel peer pressure as you begin to teach your child. Learning just a few letters or words will give them a head start.  

Here are a few activities that help teach your toddler to read. 

Read together with your Child

Create a reading routine every day with your child including weekdays and weekends. Children pick up more rapidly on building blocks for reading when it comes as the daily routine part of their schedule, like eating and sleeping. Try to keep the topics of these books familiar so that your kids can relate to the story in some way. This is how they become more engaged. 

Ask questions

“What will happen next?” This type of question can increase the enthusiasm of your tot. Using questions and language is as important as just reading when it comes to rising literacy skillfulness. When you say what will happen next in the story, your toddler will listen to you carefully. And, with time, your children will be able to make the connection between the words you speak and the words they see in their favorite books.  

Demonstrate letters combination on their favorite things

Books are not the only object a toddler comes in contact with that contain words. The world around them is full of words. If your toddler shows interest, let them point out words or combinations of letters on their favorite things like cereal packages, toys, clothes, or signs of the street outside the home. Present the concept more like: “Aha! Did you see that SWEET word on the box of your cereal? It says d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s_____ delicious!”

So over time, your child will see that letters, language and reading are everywhere including books. What an exciting way to promote reading skills in your toddler. 

Make Letters a Game

Moving ahead, you may engage your toddler in a game based on the words around your child. For example, you may ask them to recognize the first letter on the toys’ shop sign. You may also let them identify the number on their favorite snack nutrition label. 

Applying this game method, you will gradually build your toddler’s text recognition. Soon after, you will notice your child starts the same activity to pick up on whole words independently. 

Sight words practice

With phonetic reading blocks, which are 3 blocks with letters on all sides connected together that your child can spin to put together different words, you can introduce sight words to your child. In addition, these phonetic blocks suggest practicing rhyming skills when letting your toddler twist and make new words. 

Applying technology

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests avoiding digital screens for children under 18 to 24 months. The academy also recommends that kids 2 to 5 screen time should not exceed more than an hour daily. 

However, there are certain apps like “Homer or Epic” which you can be used to teach your toddler to read. These apps are phonetic-based and help kids learn letter shapes, trace letters, learn new vocabulary, listen to short stories, and open up a big digital library. Remember that your kid alone can’t learn from digital media. You may have it as a plus for the other things you perform with your child. 

Words labeling

This will be very helpful if you write up some labels and paste them in different places in your home. For example, you may paste these labels on objects your toddler often sees, like the toy box, refrigerator, couch, bed, table, chair, etc. 

Once your child becomes familiar with these labels, recollect them and later have your toddler place them in the right place. Start this practice with a few words and then gradually increase their number. 

These are just a few techniques that you can apply to teach your toddlers to read and increase their literacy at an early age.

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