Have you heard how important it is to read to children? Do you struggle to engage your young child with books? If so here as some tips that may help…
As part of National Storytelling week, we would like to give you some tips on how SHARING a book with your child is far more valuable than just reading. Children love books, not only for the wonderful adventures contained in them but also the pictures. All children can enjoy books and these days and you can get books that are particularly targeted towards younger children.
For me as a Speech and Language Therapist, I find books a very useful resource for engaging children’s imagination and developing their language skills. Below are some top tips on how to use books with younger or non-verbal children to develop their language skills.
- Follow your child’s lead; Let them show you what they are interested in. Children are far more likely to engage if they are interested in something. It is also a great way to find out about their interests.
- Comment and Label; You don’t have to read the story that has been written if your child isn’t interested in the story. Use the pictures to make up your own story, talk about what you can see and what the characters are doing. Follow your child’s interest, what are they looking at?
- Repeat Repeat Repeat; Children need to hear words a few time before they are able to learn them. Don’t be afraid to repeat the same words or phrases a few times.
- Match and Add; Listen to any words your child says then help them to make longer sentence by “matching” what they say and then “adding” a new word/words to make the sentence longer, for example, if your child points at a picture of a blue car and says “car” you can say “that’s right it’s a car, a big blue car”
So next time you are looking at book with your young child, let them be the boss and follow their lead!
Asma Khanum – ChatterBug Speech and Language Therapist