Yes, your toddler is exceptional. He is cuter, better behaved, more intelligent, more creative, and smarter than any other kid out there. So it’s only natural that he will be able to read at an early age. You just have to help him hone his skills, and he’ll be digesting Dickens before you know it. And here is the secret to encouraging his genius: Make it fun.
No toddler is going to sit down and study hard – they learn through play. The key is not to apply any pressure. It’s a known fact that most kids do the opposite of what their parents want, so be subtle and he’ll be reading in no time. Here are some tricks.
– Read to him.
- This is the most important thing you can do. Start early and continue often. Babies learn what is fun from you, so show him that you enjoy reading, and he will, too.
– Make it interesting.
- Pick books with lots of pictures and interesting concepts. Read him about things that are already exciting to him. Use different funny voices for each character.
– Be interactive.
- Encourage him to get involved in the book by pointing to pictures and words and asking questions. Use books with big print.
– Play with letters.
- Use letter magnets on the fridge to help him learn his letters and form and recognize words. He’ll enjoy playing with them and will learn from them. Use letters toys made for the bathtub during bath time, too.
– Take every opportunity.
- Point out words in the world around you. When you are out shopping, show him the sign with the store’s name. Direct his attention to words anywhere you see them, and he will start to look for and recognize opportunities to read everywhere. Label common household items with words.
– Use flash cards.
- As your toddler begins to start showing word and letter recognition, make some flash cards for letters and simple, common words. Make it fun, by showing enthusiasm and offering encouragement. Introduce new words every so often.
– Be consistent.
- Practice every day. This will reinforce what he has already learned and keep it fresh.
– Start early.
- It is never too early to start, just don’t have high expectations. The sooner he is exposed to reading, the sooner he will begin to grasp the idea that he can do it himself.
– Offer praise.
- Don’t forget to positively reinforce his progress by telling him you are proud of him. Tell him how good he is doing and he will feel encouraged to do more.
– Repeat, repeat, repeat.
- Don’t try to introduce many different books, cards, or toys. Stick to a few essential ones and use them over and over again. Repetition is the key.
– Don’t spend money on education systems.
- Educational systems that promise to teach your child to read are no better than the techniques listed above. There is no substitute for a parent’s attention and active encouragement.
These tips will help your toddler to read and, most importantly, get him to enjoy doing it. Kids want to do what is fun, and an enthusiasm for reading will last a lifetime.