Start reading habit during Week of the Young Child

Rebecca White  |  4/14/2009 7:27:26 PM

News You Can Use Distributed 04/14/09

In honor of the Week of the Young Child, April 19-25, it is important to highlight reading to children, according to LSU AgCenter family development professor Dr. Rebecca White.

“Books can be fun and engage children’s developing mind,” White said, adding, “Books can introduce children to language and help them acquire important language skills.”

The family expert notes that reading children’s books is a great way for parents and other caring adults to connect with children in a meaningful, caring way.

“Books can help children enter the world of imagination and discovery,” White said, explaining that age-appropriate books advance a young child’s literacy development and can contribute to his/her future academic success.

Parents should try to include a variety of books for their child’s library. Consider including the following types:

– Picture storybooks. Select rhyming stories and books with repeated patterned sounds.

– Participation books. These books have flaps that can be lifted to promote interaction.

– Informational books. Select book topics that your child has a natural interest in.

– Predictable books. These books have patterned language, repetitive phrases and predictable storylines that help your preschoolers anticipate what is coming next and to understand language.

– Wordless books. Parents must interpret the stories from the pictures, examining details and expressions carefully.

– Folktales and fables. Most folktales and fables have some cultural context or historical base and help a child learn about diverse cultures and experiences.

– Poetry. Rhyming poetry, especially ones with playful words help a child develop the beginning skills for reading.

– Alphabet books. ABC books are used to help a child recognize letters and realize that letters are used in language.

White encourages reading to your child every day. She says a simple way to make reading part of your daily routine is by reading a book every night at bedtime. Reading a short book is a great way to help your child wind down and prepare for sleep. It can become a favorite part of the day both for you and your child.

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Editor: Mark Claesgens

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