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Playful Reading Tips: 4 Ways to Engage Your Child in the Magic of Books

Like all the best kinds of play, reading with your child exercises their imagination, curiosity and sense of adventure. It also strengthens parent-child bonds and communication skills. Here are four fun ways you can engage your child in the magical world of reading.

  • 1. Use books as a spark for conversation


    Talk about what is happening on the pages. Even before kids are able to read the words on the page, they can develop skills to "read" illustrations. What do they see happening in the pictures? Linger on each page a little to take a closer look at specific details to foster observation skills. It’s these rich conversations and close physical interactions that build vocabulary and a sense of safety and security.

  • 2. Ask "What do you think happens next?"


    At critical moments in the story, pause before turning the page to ask your child to predict what might happen next. After you finish the story, let your child experience the power of authorship by coming up with a different ending for the story.

  • 3. Act out the story


    After reading a story, encourage your child to act out scenes using their imagination or props. Or, pair the story with a related craft or activity to engage in a hands-on way. If the book features animals, for example, create paper plate masks or finger puppets. If the book mentions food, try cooking​ a recipe related to the story.

  • 4. Visit the library


    ​​​​Libraries are perfect for story hours, meeting new friends or simply exploring. Especially on hot summer days (or chilly snowy ones, for that matter!), it’s hard to beat the fun of exploring aisles of interesting books, pulling some treasures off shelves and cozying up together to read.

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Adapted from Melissa & Doug: Our Blog
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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