Reading to your young preschool-aged child can help to build your child’s development in many ways. At this age, you child is beginning to master forming sentences and expressing thoughts, feelings, and needs verbally.

By reading aloud to your child, you are helping to familiarize your child with words—the sounds they make, their meanings, and how to use them in a sentence correctly—overall, helping them to improve their communication skills.

Reading to your child is also an excellent way to improve and build their literacy skills while also fostering a love and appreciation for books that can last a lifetime. Many of the books written for children within this age group include a picture storyline to help keep your child engaged in the story and help them to foster the creative side of their brain by targeting their vivid imaginations. It is through imaginative play that a child explores and learns about the world around them.

In addition to the above developmental benefits, reading to your child provides one of the most important things in child rearing—bonding time.

Reading With Your Preschooler

You can begin to read to your child at any age. In fact, the earlier you begin to them the better as your child can begin to reap the benefits of reading time at any age.

With preschool aged children, getting their attention and focus for a long period of time can be difficult. Reading time at this age should be fun and engaging—here are a few tips when reading to your young child.

  • Select a book designed for their age, one filled with pictures and simple language.

  • As you read, show the illustrations to your child and engage them with the image.

  • Ask them questions about the book based on what they see—can they tell what the book is about or who is in it based on the cover? Can they guess what they think will happen?

  • Change your voice and your facial expressions to match the pace and emotions of the story. Not only is this fun but it teaches your child to recognize tone, feelings, and matching expressions.

  • Trace the words as you say them and encourage your child to do the same. By doing so, you are setting the foundation for word recognition.

Make reading a story a part of your child’s regular routine. Reading a book can be a great way to start the day or you can opt for the traditional bedtime story and read a book to their child before they go to sleep. Reading daily provides your child with an activity to look forward to and will help to foster their love of reading into adulthood.