Shar­ing books with kids

The Leader (Nelson) - - FRONT PAGE - CATHERINE CAMP­BELL Catherine Camp­bell is a Speech Lan­guage Ther­a­pist with Nel­son Tas­man Kin­der­gartens

Last week I men­tioned that one of the mag­i­cal ways to support your child’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion is by read­ing to them.

It’s a good idea to think of a story as a shared ex­pe­ri­ence be­tween you and your child.

It is a prop or a tool for con­ver­sa­tions with both the child and adult be­ing equal part­ners in the book ex­pe­ri­ence.

De­pend­ing on the age and in­ter­est lev­els of your child you may want to just talk about the pic­tures and skip the words al­to­gether. It’s good to re­mem­ber that books are not a test of knowl­edge or words learned so we try to avoid ask­ing ‘‘what’s this?’’

In­stead turn your ques­tions into a com­ment that in­vites con­ver­sa­tion such as ‘‘I can see….’’ Or ‘‘I won­der what he’s do­ing…?’’

This means our chil­dren are ex­posed to hear­ing many more won­der­ful words and their replies will nat­u­rally stim­u­late fur­ther chat and con­ver­sa­tion.

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