Today, the importance of encouraging reading especially at a young age cannot be understated. Early reading brings about a multitude of benefits, from language development and cognitive abilities to improving creativity and social skills. Children are exposed to a rich and diverse vocabulary, enhancing their communication both verbally and in writing. Furthermore, your little one can explore different worlds, characters and scenarios, nurturing them to think outside of the box.
As a trusted preschool in Singapore with a preschool curriculum that enhances the quality of early childhood education, we are here to share several ways you can help your preschooler develop a love of reading!
Start Early and Make Reading a Ritual
All children are unique in their own ways, and while some may take to reading immediately, others might require more time. That is why getting your little one in the habit of reading early is so important. It helps children who love reading build up that passion, and gives those who might not, some time to get used to the idea and eventually develop a liking for it. Early reading also allows children to maximise the cognitive and social advantages that can benefit them well into adulthood. You can encourage reading with your child as early as a year old, starting with picture books filled with bright colours to draw their attention.
Beyond starting early, it’s also important to make reading a habit. In designing our preschool curriculum, we understand that routines provide consistency and predictability for children, creating comfort and security. Moreover, when reading is associated with positive emotions and experiences, children come to expect and look forward to it. Regular exposure to language through reading also helps reinforce and expand your child’s vocabulary. The more consistent, the better their language development. Try reading them a story every night before bedtime as a start.
Explore a Variety of Books
Children have varied interests, and introducing a diverse book selection enables them to discover a range of genres, topics, and styles. Finding books that align with their interests increases engagement and enthusiasm for reading. Every book offers various experiences and perspectives as well, empowering children to view things from multiple angles and improve their critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. When it comes to language skills, acquainting your little one with a broad set of vocabulary is key. As different authors possess their own style, tone and choice of words, reading a variety of books exposes children to new words and phrases they can learn.
Encourage Book Discussions and Book Clubs
Instilling a love of reading is no easy feat and simply reading with your child regularly may not be enough to sustain that passion. After a reading session with them, discuss the story with your preschooler. Ask them who their most-liked character was, their favourite part of the story, the lessons they learnt and what they thought about the story as a whole. This not only fosters critical thinking and immersion in the story even after it has ended, but it also enhances their communication and confidence when their opinions are voiced out loud. If you wish to build upon these attributes, our preschool curriculum is specially developed to empower them in these areas!
You can even take it a step further and host book clubs with other parents and their children too! Having the littles ones regularly share their thoughts about the books they read to a group of people minimises the fear of public speaking. Talking to children around their own age also makes things more relatable, fun and exciting for them. Both parents and children are introduced to new books as well, and it is an overall wonderful and stimulating activity for your child to anticipate.
Above are just some of the many ways you can inculcate a love of reading in your child. But most importantly, use this opportunity to strengthen your relationship with them. Reading together creates a positive bonding experience between parents or caregivers and children, serving as a platform for children to process their emotions and promote well-being.
At Little Seeds Preschool, we are a faith-based preschool, focusing on teaching children the values of life. Pair your child’s reading journey with us, where we will continue to nurture their confidence, self-expression, creativity and imagination.