Have fun and explore. Read with your child and animate voices of the characters of the story; let your child tell you what is happening in the story while you listen. Take turns turning pages and sharing in the story telling. Get into character and use varied tones and voices to make the story more interesting for your child. Help your child engage with the book and spend the time learning what kinds of books are available at your local library.
Research shows that children as young as a few months old are able to look at simple black and white shapes on a page or face illustrations. Before infants talk, they can learn to develop a lifelong love of books as parents read to them and interact with stories and books. Reading teaches a variety of skills. As an example, children learn that as they take turns with you and turn pages that reading is from top to bottom and left to right on the page. They notice the difference between a picture and text or printed words or symbols. Books can also help develop memory skills in a child because books can provide story line sequences with rhyming words and sentences that the child may want to hear over and over. Children learn the value decision making when you present choices of books to read when you help them pick out a book at the library.
As you turn the pages of the book, share the story reading experience with your child through use of open-ended questions (who, what, when, where, why, and who) prompting your child to think about what is happening in the story. Ask who are the characters of the story? What are their roles and how do they get along? What do you think might happen next in the story? Let’s think about the main character in the story how do you think they felt after this happened? These are just examples of open-ended questions that you can use to encourage your child to engage deeper into the story and interact with you for longer periods of time sharing the joy of reading, language and learning.