The Osceola Reads Team understands the many milestones that come with parenting. That’s why we have researched a few tips to incorporate with your child during different developmental stages to ensure they are prepared for the reading road ahead!
Let the toddler years continue! Sometimes referred to as “the terrible twos,” during your child’s third year of life, they will have huge gains in social, emotional, and physical development, which will help them make sense of the world around them. They will be able to imitate actions of adults and their peers, identify and sort objects, and follow two- and three-step directions. Some ways to help foster a love of reading is to:
- Have conversations
- Introduce new books
- Spend time together
- Encourage imagination
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can continue to help your child reach developmental milestones by engaging and interacting with them in day-to-day conversation, continuing to describe events and interactions in detail, and introducing new words to help them develop a strong vocabulary and language skills. Take your child on explorations through the neighborhood, engaging them in conversation about the things that interest them.
Introduce New Books
Introduce new books to your child, including books with just pictures. You can create your own story, or have your child name things in the picture. This is also a great time to start your toddler’s own home library. If there isn’t room for a bookcase, just grab a plastic bin that you can decorate together and practice the habit of having a home for your child’s books.
The Osceola Library System has Storytime at each branch. This is a great opportunity for children to be introduced to new stories, as well as practicing their social skills with other children their age.
Spend Time Together
Schedule time each day to spend with your child to read, play, draw, and explore. Encourage your child to express themself verbally during these interactions. While reading, ask questions that go beyond simple “yes” and “no” answers, like “Tell me about your favorite part,” and “Why do you think this happened?” If your child becomes upset, acknowledge their feelings while showing and explaining appropriate ways to express themself. For example, “I know it’s hard to share toys, but other children like to play with them, too. Let’s play with this toy while we wait for our turn again.”
Include pretend play in your child’s schedule, building their imagination, and providing them the opportunity to be silly. Also use this time to help them learn how to handle challenging situations, like bringing a new baby home. Show them acceptable ways to interact with others in social situations. This is the perfect time to give them the chance to interact with other children their age. Having these experiences will allow them to put into action the lessons you have worked on together during pretend play.
Now is the time to teach them simple songs and rhymes, like “Hey Diddle Diddle.” Your child’s mind is capable of incredible growth. Keep them engaged and interacting with fun and challenging material. You can find songs and rhymes in Footsteps2Brilliance!
Your child will learn more during the first three to five years than during any other time of her life. You are your child’s first and most important teacher. Take the time from birth to help her have a head start in her future development and learning.