While reading to children is one of the best ways to encourage an interest in reading, there are many fun ways to encourage reading beyond books. Singing songs together, particularly songs with actions such as “I’m a Little Teapot” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider” is a great way to expose your child to new words. You can also play rhyming games and make up stories together. One of my favorite products that encourages storytelling is Eeboo’s “Tell Me a Story” cards (ages 3 years+). The cards are beautifully illustrated and provide the components for children and adults to make up their own stories. Scribbling and drawing help children develop the fine motor skills they need to write, so provide paper and crayons so your child can draw and practice “writing.” Even something as simple as talking to your child and narrating your daily activities helps children develop important pre-reading skills, so make a point of describing what you are doing and point and label everyday objects and actions.
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