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Getting Your Child to Read

Kanawha County Public Library Children's Staff have these recommendations to help you support your child's emerging reading skills, and keep these skills developing as your child grows.

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Babies

  • Begin reading to your baby even before he is born.
  • Talk to your baby — research indicates that babies recognize parents' voices from birth.
  • Cuddle and read to your baby for a few minutes every day.
  • Begin early to share nursery rhymes and folktales with your baby. It has been shown that rhymes help a child's language development skills.
  • Begin a personal library for your baby with a variety of board books.
  • Participate in storytimes for babies at your local library as well as getting your child a library card.
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Toddlers/ Preschoolers

  • Continue to share nursery rhymes and folktales with your toddler.
  • Establish a daily routine of reading with your toddler.
  • Allow your toddler to assist you in selecting the books to read and in the turning of the pages.
  • When reading with your toddler, point to items on the page and name them. Encourage your child to do the same.
  • Read your child's favorite books again and again.
  • Participate in Storytimes at your local library and allow time to checkout books to take home to read.
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Ages 5-8

  • Continue your routine of daily reading with your child.
  • Assist your child in selecting books that your child can read independently; however, continue to read aloud to your child.
  • Take turns reading aloud together and take the time to talk about what you read.
  • Help your child grow as a reader by reading books aloud that are above his reading level. This introduces him to new words, challenges his thinking skills and expands his attention span.
  • Be a model for your child by letting them see you read books, magazines and newspapers.
  • Make weekly visits to your local public library and let your child see you checking out books of your own.
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Ages 9-12

  • Continue your routine of daily reading with your child.
  • Be a model for your child by letting them see you read for both pleasure and practical purposes.
  • Encourage your child to write — notes, letters, thank you cards, e-mail, even shopping lists.
  • Suggest books and magazines to your child that relate to his interests.
  • Use family activities such as movies and travel as a starting point for reading and discussing related topics.
  • Make weekly visits to your local public library and let your child see you checking out books of your own.

The library has many titles available to help parents introduce children to the pleasure of reading.

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