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Speech Development Blog by Tiffany Bartlett

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Make Time for Reading

Week 14 Speech Development Tip:  Spend time each day reading to your child.  Choose books with few words and big, colorful pictures.  It's not necessary to read all the words in your story.  You can also spend time talking about the pictures or labeling objects in the pictures.

Life is busy!  As a mother of three, I get that.  Just yesterday, I was trying to get the house straightened and wasn't in much of a playful mood.  This was not the case for my 7 year old girl.  "Mom, can you pleeeeeeease play with me?"  I tried the cop-out - call a friend over to entertain her, but they were unavailable.  Finally, I said, "Why don't we read a book together?"  Emily is at the beginning stages of reading.  We had a few chapters of Heidi left.  I had told her earlier this summer that if we finished reading the book, Heidi, we would watch the movie.  Shortly after we started reading, my oldest son curled up on the couch to listen too.  Even though my day was busy, it was worthwhile to take time to read a good book with my children.

My children are old enough to sit through an entire story, but not all children can.  Reading a story from start to finish does not have to be your goal.  For some toddlers, expecting them to sit still and listen quietly, is not realistic.  That's okay.

Here are some tips when chooses books and reading with young children.
  • choose books with few words
  • choose books with fun, colorful pictures that catch your child's attention
  • let your child turn the pages
  • create a special reading area in the house - maybe a comfy chair or bean bag
  • point to pictures and label  objects - Richard Scary books (Busy Town) have lots of pictures and things to label
  • get books with repetitive phrases - Eric Carle writes many books with repetitive phrases (Brown Bear, Brown Bear)
  • buy board books for toddlers - less likely to tear pages and easier to turn pages

Even when life is busy, carve out time to read to your kids.  They'll love it and you will too!

*This speech tip is introduced in week 14 of the speech calendar.  For more speech tips and weekly speech activities, subscribe to my speech calendar.
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