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Using Storybooks to Teach Your Child Language Skills


Reading and telling stories are important skills for your child to have as they go through school. They help improve your child’s listening, speaking, and writing skills. Stories are also a good way to learn new things about the world. Books can introduce your child to many new ideas, events, and experiences. These experiences help your child learn new words.

​​​​​How can I use storybooks with my child?

  • Start reading with your child at an early age. It’s never too early to start reading to them.
  • Begin with a good book. Good books talk about things that are interesting and familiar to your child and have good pictures.
  • Read regularly with your child. Bedtime is always a good time for stories, but there are many other times that are good for reading (e.g., you could read with your child while waiting in line at a store). Keep a book or two in the car or in a back pack. You’ll be ready to read a page whenever you have a chance.
  • Read slowly with lots of expression in your face and voice.
  • Sit close to your child so you can share the book and the experience together.
  • Read simple stories your child can memorize so they can fill in the words as you read together.
  • Read the same story many times. Your child learns best when they hear a story over and over again. Your child will enjoy knowing a book by heart!
  • Ask questions that encourage your child to think. Ask why and how questions (e.g., “Why do you think he did that?”, “How did that happen?”)
  • Ask questions that encourage your child to predict what will happen next in the story (e.g., “What do you think will happen next?”).
  • Have fun! Your child will learn that reading is fun and it gives them a chance to learn something new. Make reading a habit.​​

Where to go get help

For more information about how speech-language pathologists and audiologists can help, contact:

  • Your doctor, public health nurse, or other health provider
  • Your local health centre

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