It’s important for your child to have fun playing with books before trying to read the actual story.
Stages of playing with books
Your child may go through the following stages of playing with books:
- At first your child will try to eat the book, bang it, squeeze it, and look at the cover.
- Next, they may open it, close it, turn pages, and look at the pictures. Your child will like books with pictures or photos of their favorite people and things.
- Then your child will start to look at the pictures you point to. They will recognize the words and sounds you use and will try to repeat what you say. They will also like to point to some pictures you name.
- Finally, your child will name the pictures by themselves.
Having a few favorite books is more important to a child than having many books.
How can I help my child play with books?
- Look for interactive books. Some have flaps, sound effects, scratch and sniff pictures, puppets, and textured pictures.
- Choose books with simple, interesting pictures or photos. Your child will learn that pictures and photos are symbols for real objects. Much later, they will learn that printed words are symbols for these same objects.
- Link pictures in books with real objects and experiences (e.g., if you have a book about food, show your child real or play food, and pretend to eat and drink using actions).
- Make your own “Favorite Picture Book”, using photos, magazine pictures, or drawings of activities, places, or people your child enjoys.
- Play games with books. Take turns pointing to pictures. Name the pictures your child looks at or points to. Play hide and seek by covering the pictures with your hand or a piece of paper.
The library has lots of great books that your child can borrow. You can often get great bargains on used kid’s books at thrift shops, garage sales, and the library discard shelves.
A love of books encourages life-long learning!
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