When reading with kids, there are some overlooked techniques that will help a child latch on to reading.
Here are helpful hints from the study, Exploring the Beginnings of Literacy found in the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy:
Create a routine. Read books at naptime, bath time, mealtime, and bedtime.
Take books wherever you go. Always have a book ready to fill in the time. Treat a child to a Golden Book at the grocery store.
Read fiction and nonfiction. Children like make-believe, and they are curious about the world around them.
Emphasize cultural background. Use books in the child’s native language and cultural background.
Pick books with good illustrations. Children respond to pictures and become interested in words through illustrations.
Point to pictures while speaking. Encourage children to speak about what they see.
Repeat words. Ask children to repeat words they hear read to them.
Ask questions. Use pictures to ask questions about the story, but don’t interrupt the flow of the story.
Follow a child’s cues. For example, if a child doesn’t like a book, try a different one.
Read with inflection. Use an animated voice while reading with expression, intonation, joy, and excitement.
Repeat readings. Children who want one book read repeatedly do well with vocabulary.
Make personal connections. Children like books that reflect something about them. Or substitute names in the story with the names of your kids or relatives.
Read different genres. Include books on various subjects like poetry, biographies, fairy tales, and informational books.
Help children make their own books. Children enjoy dictating to you and seeing their own stories in print, and then rereading those stories.
Read your favorites. Enjoy sharing your favorite children’s stories with your children.
Most importantly, demonstrate in your words and actions that reading is an enjoyable experience. As Dr. Seuss wrote, “Oh, the places you’ll go!”