Everyday Activities to Help Educate Your Preschool Child

kids-drawing

There is no one more enthusiastic about life than a preschool child. If you are the parent of one of these precious little ones, you are blessed. Helping children this age is a true joy because they are very eager to learn… probably some of the best students you will find anywhere. Here are some activities that you can incorporate into daily life that will allow your preschooler to excel in their education.

chalk board

Writing Skills

All children are ready for school at a different age and you want them to learn at their own pace, but some basic skills will help them when the time comes for them to print and write. Mazes are an excellent tool that helps them learn to make marks that are both curvy and straight. Encourage your child to draw a lot and show them how to trace large letters. This will prepare them for when they use a pencil for smaller characters, as they will already have some practice following proper writing directions and strengthening their fine motor skills.

A few things you can use are pen and paper or markers. You can use a chalkboard or even an etch-a-sketch pad. Let them practice one letter at a time and then begin to practice their name or short words like “cat” or “dog.” My oldest grandson has an etch-a-sketch type pad and loves to write things on it just to see it get erased. This can make it fun for them too.

Math Skills

Use everyday situations to give your preschooler a head-start in math. When you are at the grocery store, ask your little one to pick out six apples or two bananas for you. Once they have mastered their basic numbers, you can make it more complex.

Your child can use tiny pieces of food such as gummy bears for addition and subtraction. Ask them to separate the gummy bears into different colors. Talk about how many of each there are, and what the total number is. Ask them to subtract one pile from the rest. These kinds of activities help them to understand the concrete principles of math.

 

xylophone

Music Skills

Every child thrives when exposed to music. Buy a few simple instruments for your children, such as tambourines and a recorder. Encourage them to use the instruments and make a tune or shake the instrument to the beat of a song you play. This will help as they pursue any musical ambitions in the future and will also help them with coordination. To further their math skills, you can also have them count their beats as they drum on something.

Our oldest grandson has several musical instruments, that we have helped to contribute too. He loves to play his small piano and his drum set. He is quite the percussionist as a three-year-old and now teaching his younger brother.

Baking Skills

Your preschooler will be a baker like no other. Most children have a love for cooking and enjoy experimenting. Use this time to work in concepts such as math when you measure, art when you combine colors for frosting, and letter recognition when you make letter-shaped cookies and other goodies.

As they grow older, they can help measure out the ingredients and stir. Letting them help measure ingredients helps with their math skills as well.


crats

Craft Skills

Young children love crafts and there are many age-appropriate activities for them to participate in. Preschoolers especially love using messy supplies such as glue, glitter, stickers, markers, and anything bright and catchy. Whether you are pasting shapes on construction paper or creating a unique ornament, your preschooler will be thrilled with any effort you put into the project. Keep it simple as it doesn’t take much to impress them.

As they grow older, they can play with play dough and make things. You can make dough with a simple flour-water mixture and bake their items and let them paint with non-toxic paints and hang them. Preschoolers are proud of the things they make, and they especially love to see mom and dad display those items.


scooter

Outdoor Activities

In a world where electronics dominate, it is important to keep your preschoolers active. This helps them with their gross motor skills, as well as bringing your child many health benefits. Your child’s physical, mental and emotional health will all be positively impacted as they run and jump. Try activities such as hopscotch, bicycling, skipping rope, and playing at the park.

Your little one is growing up. Now is the time to prepare them for what lies ahead. With all these ideas for preschool activities, there are sure to be at least a few winners. Contribute to your child’s preschool success with some of these fun activities.

Train Your Child to Have Good Listening Skills

One of the best things you can teach your children is to have good listening skills. Good listening skills are important and it’s something they will use for the rest of their lives.

Your children will need good listening skills at home. They will need good listening skills at school when learning the many subjects, they will be enrolled in.

Your children will need good listening skills while talking attentively with their friends or receiving instructions from other adults.

As your children grow older, good listening skills will be useful in college and when they start their first job, or even when they start dating.

There are many ways those listening skills will be useful.

Here are a few ways to help train your child to have good listening skills:

  • Reading and asking questions
  • Read and Repeat
  • Conversation
  • Make Eye-to-eye contact
  • Practice following instructions

Reading and Asking Questions

A good way to help your child have good listening skills is to read to them. Read a page or two from a story, or book your child is interested in. After those two pages stop and ask them questions. If they have been listening attentively, they will be able to answer questions. If they were not paying attention, as kids so often do, you’ll know their mind was somewhere else.

Read the same thing to them and ask them to listen and that you are going to ask them a question afterwards. This allows them to see what you are doing if they did not understand the “game” before.

Reading and asking questions are good practices to get into to make sure they are paying attention to the story or book you are reading. It is a good practice so that when they are in school, they will pay attention to the teacher or other adults speaking to them.

Children need to be trained to listen.

They need to practice listening.

The better they listen, the better they will do in school and do well with friends or other things they may endeavor in life. This practice begins when they are young.

 

Read and Repeat

Another way to train your child to listen is by reading something and then have them repeat what you read. Again, this is a good way of knowing if they are paying attention. If they are paying attention, they will be able to repeat most if not all of what you read. Of course, you will not be able to read as much in one setting to do this.

Start with a simple story. Read a line or two and have them repeat it. Read again and repeat.

One of the best times I had with my oldest grandson recently was to have him pick out a book to read. I began reading the story and he stopped me and began to tell me the story.

It will absolutely blow your mind sometimes when a child can just about recite the whole book to you.

Do you think that child has been paying attention? Absolutely!

Reading is a fun thing to do with your child or children anyway, but for them to begin reciting the book to you after you’ve read something to them shows you how much they are paying attention and loving the book. And how much they soak in.

The child who pays attention and can evenly recite a book will be so much far ahead of his or her peers in school because they have practiced their listening skills without even knowing it and you helped.

 

Conversation

How many parents just sit and have a conversation with their children? Well, I hope you all do.

I feel like this is a lost art for so many people now with the advent of computer or video games, iPhones, iPads and other electronics that have taken so much of our time and our children’s attention. It is quite amazing to just sit and have a conversation with your child.

Find out what they are thinking.

Find out what may be bothering them.

Find out something they’d like to do or somewhere they’d like to go.

As your children get older, find out who their friends are at school or in the neighborhood.

When you take the time to sit and have a conversation with your child or children, you’ll be amazed at some of the things you can learn about them. You are helping them have good listening skills when you speak to them and ask them questions.

Having a conversation with your children is going to help draw you closer to them as well. It’s a win-win situation.

 

Make Eye-to-Eye Contact

Make eye contact when you are having a conversation.

Teach your child to look at you when you are talking to them and when they are talking to you. This is also a lost art, it seems.

So many of us have cell phones and are constantly on them, talking, texting or emailing. Put the phone down. Make eye contact with your children.

Teach them that it is important to give the person they are speaking to their undivided attention. The only way you can do that is if you practice what you preach.

Many times, when you are not looking at the person who is speaking to you, you are not really listening to them. You may hear them talking, but you are not really listening.

Teach your children how important it is to look at the person they are having a conversation with.

Teach them to make eye contact.

If you begin teaching them this skill while they are young, they will grow to have more confidence and practice this skill into adulthood.

 

Practice Following Instructions

Most parents give their children chores to do around the house.

A good practice to get into with your child or children is to give them instructions and have them follow those instructions.

Did they do what you told them to do?

Did they do it the way you instructed them to do it?

This may take some practice, especially if you are starting them young. As they grow and develop those skills of listening to what you are telling them to do, those skills will get better.

As your children go to school and listen to other adults or their teachers give instructions, as they take instructions in college and finally when they are older and working, those who have practiced following instructions at home will be that much more ahead of their peers.

Those children who have practiced good listening skills will be much smarter, more intuitive, and make fewer mistakes.

Putting these few things into practice…reading and asking questions, read and repeat, having conversations and making eye contact and practicing following instructions is going to go along way in your child’s development.

When your children have good listening skills, they are going to learn better, learn faster, and go further than those kids who did not develop good listening skills and they are going to make better grades.

They are ultimately going to have better jobs because they listen and follow the instructions they are given.

Heck, they may be the boss one day!

They may be the one giving instructions!

Start putting these few things into practice today, and your children will reap the rewards tomorrow.

 

 

Happy Reading,

 

Pamela

Limit Your Child’s Use of Electronics

Your kids indeed love to play games, whether on the computer or TV with Xbox, PlayStation, or other electronic devices such as cell phones and iPads. It’s okay to teach your kids how to use all these electronics.  We live in a technically advantaged society and its good for the kids to learn to use and be proficient on these devices, however that use should be limited.

Studies have shown in the past year or two regarding the over-use of electronics by kids and what it is doing to their brains.  Kids are being overstimulated by all these devices.  Kids are spending way too much time on social media and playing games.

There are many negative effects of social media on kids such as depression, inadequacy, cyberbullying and other things. Why subject our kids to these things when we don’t need to? There are so many other things kids can be involved in other than spending so much time on social media or devices.

Watch This “The Negative Impacts of Technology on Child Development”

What Do the Experts Say?

Jim Taylor, Ph.D. in “Psychology Today,” pointed to ways that technology is affecting kids today –

It is affecting their attention span which can also affect school performance

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, mobile devices “may negatively affect the children’s opportunity to learn how to self soothe and regulate.”  Multiple studies have shown an increase in violence and aggression from access to popular video games.  A few examples of how too much time on electronic devices harm children are that it “decreases their physical activity which in turn affects their health.  Use of computers or other devices used as distraction reduces interaction, emotional development and problems solving skills.”

According to https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/ most academies, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting the use of media to 1-2 hours per day for older children and no exposure to electronics for children before the age of two.

 

What Are the Alternatives to Electronics?

Reading

Reading is a great alternative to using electronics. Help your kids set a goal to read for an hour or more a day and earn a certain amount of play on devices. You may choose to set up a bonus system where they earn time with electronics.  They could read a book or a chapter to earn a specific amount of time on the computer or iPad to play games.

 

Puzzles or Legos

Teach your child to work with puzzles or Legos.  Purchase a few puzzles or Lego sets that are appropriate for the age of each child.  Sit with them and work together on a puzzle or build something together.  Set up a special spot for your child or children to sit and put together their puzzles or build with their Lego sets.  Encourage them to build something or put their puzzles together a little each day.  This is a great way for your children to focus on something other than electronics. Putting a puzzle together or building something will help a child with their cognitive skills, help with their hand-eye coordination, and practice good communication skills when working with other children or an adult.  There is a sense of accomplishment when something is completed also.

Physical Activity

Make sure your children get plenty of physical activity each day.  It is important for their well-being, their health, their heart, their brains, and their muscles. Children need at least 30-60 minutes of physical activity each day.  Every child, if he/she is physically able, should have some type of physical activity.  Don’t let your children become couch potatoes, gain weight and become unhealthy.  That is your job as a parent.

 

Chores

Kids need to learn responsibility. Use chores to help them earn time on their electronic devices or computer to play games.  This helps them to gain a sense of accomplishment too. Assign different chores to earn a specific time of use on a device.

Make sure to praise or compliment your kids on the things they do accomplish.  So many minutes playing or exercising – “good job.” A chore or job well-done – “you did a great job and I appreciate it.”  If they read a chapter or two – applaud their efforts.  Nothing helps a child feel appreciated or accomplished than praise from a parent or other grown-up.

 

You may have other things for your children to do to keep them active and not spending so much time on electronic devices.  Just remember it is not a bad thing for your kids to learn to use them, they just don’t need to be on them all the time.  It’s all about balance and moderation.

Everyday Activities That Help Your Teen Apply What They Learn

Your teen is at an age where they probably feel ready to take on the world. This is a great age for introducing them to activities that will expand their world and help them to apply what they are already learning in school. The possibilities are endless. Here are some supplementary activities that you as a parent can do to encourage your child to continue to grow in their education.

 

Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping

Meal planning and grocery shopping go hand-in-hand and are basic chores that can teach your teen skills that go far beyond basic ones. There are many facets involved in these two simple chores.  Meal planning helps teach your teen how to plan for different sized groups, organize weekly family meals, and find the items in the grocery store and purchasing them within a budge.  These two activities have many benefits. Meal planning and grocery shopping will help your teen see the importance of math, reading and organizational skills, all within a short period of time.   It may become something that they decide they want to help with frequently.

 

 

Budgeting with Parents

Budgeting is something best learned while you are relatively young. The preferable time to teach your kids about money management is when they are still living at home. Allow your child to look at your family finances. Most children are trustworthy with the info and can learn valuable lessons about budgeting while watching you manage your household. Involve your teen so that they can see why you make the decisions you do and how you solve problems when necessary. It is important that your teen has their own bank account, learn how to manage their account and know where their money is going, even from a young age.

 

Run Errands for the Family

Once your teen gets older and earns the privilege of driving you can allow them to start running errands for the family. This helps them to feel a sense of accomplishment and gives them more responsibility.  They can go to the grocery store, the bank, pick up the dry cleaning, take a younger sibling to ball practice, pick up a package from the post office.  The list of errands becomes endless when you are an adult and allowing your teen to get a little practice while they are young will help them and help you too.

 

Home Business

Encourage your teen to brainstorm and come up with an idea for their own home business.  Help them if they need some help, but it would be better if they can come up with the idea, figure out how to start it and run it on their own.  Many adults are becoming an entrepreneur and are working for themselves rather than for someone else. Whether your child continues with a home business, or becomes an employee, managing a home business as a young person will make the financial principles floating around in their heads become more concrete. When you have to balance books, suddenly math becomes a reality and your teen will realize exactly why they are putting in long hours to learn these concepts.  As stated in an earlier post regarding your middle schooler, teens will reap the same benefits from owning their own business.

 

Volunteering

Volunteering is a great experience for any child of all ages. In the teen years, volunteering can serve many purposes, including exploring areas of possible future career interests. Whether your child wants to become a cook or a veterinarian, there is an opportunity for them to volunteer somewhere that sparks passion inside them.

Encourage your child to volunteer in a few different places throughout their teen years.  This will give them a taste of what the working world is like and will help them choose a place of employment when they are older. Volunteering will have exposed them to many different workplace atmospheres. Your teen may even land their first job because someone they volunteered for didn’t want to let them go when they were ready to look for employment.

 

Teens have the world at their fingertips. Encourage your teen to look beyond his or her immediate situation and into the future. By incorporating these everyday activities into your child’s life, they will expand their education and become a leader in tomorrow’s world.

Expanding Your Middle School Child’s Education Through Life Skills

middle-school

Don’t underestimate your middle school child’s abilities. At this age, your child can learn a lot of life skills that will contribute to a well-rounded education. Here are a few things you can do to ensure that your child will gain many opportunities to grow as a student and person.

 

 

Open Their Own Bank Account

Your middle school child is old enough to have and to manage their own bank account. Start them off with a small amount of money that they can invest and give them the opportunity to save and take charge of their own finances. Encourage them to deposit their own money from that point on and remind them to keep track of how much interest they earn. It will certainly be a learning experience for them that will start them off on the road to future savings.

 

Volunteering Opportunities

No one is too young to volunteer. Everyone has an ability and every ability can be used for the purpose of helping others. Volunteering exposes your child to a variety of situations and many different people.

Whether your child plays piano in a senior care home or walks dogs at a local pet shop, volunteering will help them decide what they may want to do later in life. It also gives your child a sense of responsibility and reminds them that their presence is important in the world, along with teaching them life skills of being on time and being dependable.

 

Home Business

Your child doesn’t have to have a large home business in order to learn valuable skills through it. Even a simple paper route gives your child the opportunity to put their education into real-life practice. Delivering papers on time, collecting money from the customers on the route, and counting the total of money earned is a great education for any child in lessons of math, people skills and responsibility. These skills apply to any job in your child’s future.

 

Gardening

Gardening is a great way to further your child’s education. Gardening will teach your child basic science principles such as growing food from seed and how to do it in the most efficient way. It also gives your child an education in where our food comes from and what we need to do in order to create a world with a hospitable environment toward healthy food production.

 

Basic Household Duties

There are basic household duties that every child should know. Keeping their room tidy, doing their own laundry and making a simple meal are some skills that will serve your child well in life. Give your child the opportunity to learn these skills when they are young so that they do not have a constant struggle in these areas as an adult.

Your child’s middle school years are a time where their world is expanding rapidly. There is always more than they can learn, however. Give your child these opportunities and see them continue to grow to become a responsible child who will someday become a responsible adult.

Common Reading Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Reading is a challenge for many young children. There are a number of common errors that are made when learning to read, but there are ways to correct them before they become ingrained in your child’s reading. Here are some of the more common reading mistakes, and how you can fix them as soon as they appear.

 

Tracking Errors

Tracking errors are when a child mixes up sounds within a word. It indicates that they are not tracking left to right, which is the proper way to read. They might sound out a letter near the end of the word before one nearer to the beginning. To help your child in this situation, sound out the word from left to right, and move your finger in the proper direction to help them remember this.

 

Word Guessing

Often when a child learns to read, they may guess a word without viewing it in its entirety. If a child makes the correct sound of the first letter, but the rest of the word is wrong, they may be doing this. Watch your child’s eyes closely as children who are word guessing often look away from the page and list a string of possible words while watching you see how you react. Again, sound out the word for your child while pointing at the letters and letter combinations.

 

 

Difficulties with Vowel Combinations

Children may struggle with combining vowels. You will realize this if their vowel combinations sound choppy or do not flow properly. If your child is having difficulty putting two vowels together, practice sounding out the vowel combinations, or make up a catchy rhyme or poem to help them remember what the combination sounds like.

 

Lack of Attention to Detail

When a child is in a hurry to read or has trouble concentrating, they may lack attention to detail. If your child misses parts of a word they are attempting to read or skips words, this may be the issue. They may have trouble blending consonant clusters. Encourage your child to slow down and take their time in order to conquer this problem.

 

Confusing the Letters

It is a common issue for children to confuse letters when they are beginning to read. Letters such as b, d, and even p which are similar in shape can cause confusion among early readers. If your child is obviously mixing up their letters, have them print each letter numerous times in regular block style print.

 

Text Memorization

Sometimes children learn tricks that make them appear to be reading better than they actually are. This can be deceiving to those who are instructing them, as the child appears not to have any struggles. If you notice your child reciting a portion of reading to you and they are not even looking at the book, they have likely memorized it. The way to combat this is to have your child read new books often and to avoid books with pictures that give away what is written once they have read it through.

 

There are many common mistakes a child may make while learning to read. If you catch them early, you can correct them so that they will not become a long-term stumbling block to your child. Your young reader will benefit from your attention as you keep your eyes out for these common reading mistakes and assist your child in conquering them.

The old saying is still true today, “practice makes perfect.”

 

 

How to Improve a Child’s Short-Term Memory

A good short-term memory is a benefit to all who have one. There are ways you can improve your child’s short-term memory. Wouldn’t it be nice to have your child remember what you ask them, instead of having to remind them over and over again of something? With a little bit of work, you can assist your child in their short-term memory capabilities.

 

Lessen Your Child’s Stress Load

A stressed-out child will not be able to utilize their memory fully, including short-term memory. If you want your child to be able to remember more efficiently, do everything you can to lessen their stress load. Talk to your child and ask them how they feel often. Take them seriously when they are upset or concerned about something. Children think more deeply than many adults give them credit for. When these thoughts and concerns are not discussed with a trusted adult, it can have a negative effect on their health. Having negative thoughts or concerns can distract your child from enjoying life, worrying about things that are not true or real. Talk to and help them move past these concerns.

Exercise

Exercise is a great way to help your child improve his (or her) short-term memory. Medical studies have proven that vigorous daily exercise improves an individual’s memory and cognitive function. No matter your child’s personality, there is a sport or exercise to please him. Let him choose between a variety of activities, such as swimming, basketball, jumping rope, and everything in between.

If your child can be active outside that is even better. They could benefit from the fresh air and sunshine. Outdoor activities are beneficial in a lot of ways so try to get your child outside as much as possible.

 

Play Brain-Training Games

Memory is like a muscle – it must be used to remain healthy. Children love games, and there are many games a person can play in order to improve their short-term memory. Get involved and participate in these games, as it will also give you bonding time. You can play the classic card game called “Memory,” or choose the one you can play in the car on the way to school, such as “I Spy.” As long as it is a game that encourages memory, it will help.

 

Adequate Sleep

Children do not function at their best when they are overtired and exhausted. One of the best ways to help your child with their short-term memory function is to adhere to a regular bedtime routine. A regular bedtime will help them fall asleep more quickly, which will help combat being overtired. Studies done on mice showed that when mice were sleeping, a significantly larger amount of new connections between neurons were formed, which leads to greater memory retention.

 

Foods and Supplements That Help

Food is fuel to our bodies and minds. There are certain foods and supplements that assist us in our ability to memorize. If we want our children to have the strongest memories possible, we must give them the correct fuel. Some supplements that contribute to a healthy brain and memory are omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B12, E, C, and beta-carotene which contains the precursor for vitamin A. Foods to help improve your memory include vegetables, fruit, fish, nuts, olive oil, and whole grains. Visit Health for You to read more articles on healthy eating.

Improving your child’s short-term memory doesn’t have to be a losing battle. There are several things you can do to help them improve in this area. With a few lifestyle changes and a little bit of persistence, you will see a remarkable difference more quickly than you could imagine.

It All Starts in Your Child’s Ears

Reading is a skill that every parent wishes for their child to learn. It is something that can be frustrating to teach, however.  There are ways to begin setting a foundation for good reading before you even show your child their first printed word. How is it possible to give your child a good head start with their reading from the earliest moment?

 

 

Speak to Your Child

From the moment you find out you are pregnant, begin speaking to your child. It may seem funny or embarrassing at first, but as your child grows he (or she) will begin to babble back to you in attempted conversation. Your unborn baby will begin to hear around 18 weeks into the pregnancy, so use this opportunity to expose him to a variety of different sounds.  Once your baby begins to move, you will really experience feedback with his or her movements in reaction to your voice or your spouse’s voice.

Once your baby is born, speak with him or her as you carry him/her around and as you go about your day. Don’t be afraid to explain things in detail.  Talk to your baby as you do things and tell them what you are doing.  Say things like, “Now we are going to make lunch. What should we make today? Here are some bananas and peanut butter.” Even if your baby doesn’t understand every detail at first, it encourages him/her to try out new words himself as they get older.  Babies respond to so many things that you do and learning words from the very beginning is a great start.

 

Use a Large Vocabulary

When speaking to your baby, use a wide variety of words in your vocabulary. Don’t be afraid to include words that are difficult to pronounce or understand. Using big words encourages an expansion of your baby’s vocabulary, and he/she will understand them as he/she grows.

You will really begin to have fun as they approach about fifteen to eighteen months old.  Their vocabulary starts to grow weekly and when they hit two years old you’ll begin to wonder where they learned all the words they are coming out with.

 

 

Read to Your Child

There is no such thing as too much reading. Reading to your child opens the doors to his/her imagination. It exposes him/her to new sounds that you might not otherwise include in your daily conversation and gives him/her something to look forward to. Time spent reading with you or your spouse will imprint positive memories with your child and encourage a love for reading.

 

Rhyme with Your Child

Rhyming is a wonderful way to help your child lay a foundation for reading. Give your child examples of rhyming, and then ask him/her to give you a few. A great way to teach rhyming is to point to a body part and give a rhyming word for that body part. Then ask him/her to name the rhyming body part. Giving your child clues such as these helps them to learn the concept quickly, and soon he/she will be able to create rhyming words without any assistance.

 

 

Foreign Languages

Studies have shown that the more sounds an infant is exposed to, the greater the capacity they will have to learn to speak those sounds later. Speaking a large variety of words while your child is young in any language, including foreign languages, will allow him to become fluent more easily later on.

 

Teaching your child to read is a process that involves time and patience. It is well worth the effort since it will bring huge benefits to their life. Be sure to lay a foundation for reading long before your child is old enough to read by themselves. By following these simple rules, your child will be on their way to becoming an avid reader in no time at all.

Reading from Birth to Age Six

We know that reading is a beneficial activity for all children. From birth, children are designed to enjoy hearing the human language and to try it out themselves. Reading is one of the best ways we can pass language and ideas on to our children. It is also one of the greatest ways a parent can bond with their little one. How is reading different at birth, two years, four years, and six years of age? Here are some facts to help you maximize the time you spend reading with your little one at any age.

 

From Birth to Toddler Hood

Reading aloud to your newborn is not just a great way to pass the time but is a highly beneficial activity that will assist your child throughout their entire life. It is difficult to imagine that a newborn can benefit from the simple act of hearing mom or dad read to him (or her), but indeed he/she does.

Reading to a newborn can expose them to a greater variety of words and sounds. Studies have shown that in fact, this allows a child to keep a greater variety of sounds available as they learn and develop their own language, as well as foreign languages that they may choose to learn throughout life. The more words and languages they hear at birth, the easier it will be for them to pronounce each of them correctly later. Holding your child and reading to them is a bonding time that can never be replaced.

 

At Age Two

The age of two is a fun time for reading. Your child will enjoy hearing you read and point out colors and pictures.  They will be drawn to books with lots of silly words and sounds. When you read to your child, use a great deal of voice inflection as this helps your child to learn the appropriate ways of speaking for each moment and situation. They will especially love reading books with lots of action and emotion.  From age two to four your child will be soaking in hundreds of words and learning every day.  Their vocabulary will grow tremendously over this time period.

 

At Age Four

Your four-year-old will enjoy books with adventure and plots that they can relate to their own lives. Continue to look for books with bright photos that draw them in. They will likely want to try reading with you, so choose books that have easy words that you can sound out for them. When you read to your four-year-old, it is a great time to seize the teachable moments and see what you can pass to them. Their vocabulary continues to grow during this period.

 

At Age Six

Six-year-olds are learning more about the world around them and how it relates to them as individuals. Use books that help foster empathy in children, and that talk in an age-appropriate way about being responsible members of society. Six-year-olds often feel older than they actually are and love challenges. They will also learn a great deal from the way you read to them, and the emotion they detect in your voice. This is the time when your child will begin to read more to you as you continue to teach them and they learn at school.  It is an exciting time for them and for you.

 

Reading is a great choice of activity at any age. When you read to your child, you are investing in his or her future. Know in advance what some of the great age-specific benefits are given to your child through reading to them, and they will benefit from it throughout life.