Developing a love of reading in children: Ages 3 to 5 years
At this age, children are beginning to develop an appreciation of different letters, numbers, symbols and what they represent. They have also nearly mastered an understanding of different seasons, colours and shapes, as well as the basic concept of time, in terms of past, present and future (or yesterday, today and tomorrow).
- Expose your child to pop-up books and books with tags that must be pulled to move or change the picture.
- Look for stories that have actions in them that your child can act out as you read the story to him. Even if the story does not lend itself to actions, then assign one action or gesture per character that you use every time that character appears in the story.
- Start to read longer stories to him than you did when he was a baby (just bear in mind the length of his attention span).
- Read books that have concepts in them, such as time, shapes, colours, numbers, the alphabet and opposites to name a few.
- Choose books with lots of rhyming and repetition in them, as well as nonsense sentences and words.
- Children at this age love books about things they are exposed to in their daily lives.
- Books should have only a few words per page.
- When reading to your child, use your finger to follow the words as you read them.
- Be part of a book club that will send books regularly addressed to your child, he’ll love this.