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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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