Six to twelve months after being born your child starts to look at photos, recognize sounds and point to items that interest them. Reading to your child regularly is one of the most important factors for them to develop a healthy level of communication in the infancy stage. Your life as a parent has become increasingly hectic at this point, and although you must work hard, you must also work smart and as efficiently as possible in order to effectively balance your parenting schedule.

With that being said, here are 10 tips on how you can make the most out of story time with your child.

1. Don’t skip the cover of the book.

This is the beginning of teaching your child literacy skills. Go over the author, illustrator and title of the book and label them each time.

2. Go through a picture walk before you open the book.

Before you open the book, it is very important to discuss what your child sees. Ask questions, “tell me what you see”, “what do you think is going to happen”, etc.

3. Be dramatic.

Children will be more engaged in the story if you are playful with the story. This will encourage the love of literacy and reading.

4. Repetition means child involvement.

If the book has lots of repetition, allow for patience and encouragement to get your child involve.

5. Be patient.

Children love to look at every detail in a story, especially when they are fully engaged. Allow them time to go through each picture. This is another great time to ask more questions.

6. Model.

Speak slowly and clearly when reading the story to your child. Link previous experience to the story.

7. Let your child choose the story.

Your child will love story time with you with you allow them the independence to choose their own story.

8. Always end off with ‘the end’ and some questions.

When you finish your story always ask questions regarding the specific story “What was your favourite part,” “ Who did you like the best in the story, ?” etc.

9. Enjoy and be silly.

The more you enjoy reading the story, the more your child will be focused and excited for the next one.

10. Value the love of reading.

Reading a story to your child shows that you value the love and education that reading provides. Reading is not only a way to engage in literacy, but also allows for bonding time with your child.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”- Dr. Seuss

For more tips and info on age-appropriate communication levels and child speech therapy visit The Speech Therapy Centres of Canada website.