The Ex­pert:

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Bookends Event -

CRE­ATE A RICH LIT­ER­ARY EN­VI­RON­MENT

In­tro­duce read­ing at an early age, and en­sure your child al­ways has ac­cess to a wide range of qual­ity books. Stock the book­shelves with age-ap­pro­pri­ate ma­te­rial, and don’t be overly con­cerned about what other chil­dren are read­ing, ad­vises Anita. Ev­ery child has a dif­fer­ent level of com­pre­hen­sion, so choose books that are most suit­able for Ju­nior.

PRIME YOUR CHILD WITH PRE-READ­ING AC­TIV­I­TIES

Anita sug­gests play­ing au­dio­vi­sual games like “I Spy with My Lit­tle Eye” to help Ju­nior im­prove his word recog­ni­tion skills. Also, en­cour­age him to mem­o­rise songs, as this can help him get ac­cus­tomed to a lan­guage’s nat­u­ral rhythm. Thread­ing beads and as­sem­bling jig­saw puzzles are other good pre-read­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, as they train a child to iden­tify sub­tle dif­fer­ences be­tween ob­jects. Anita Wilks, se­nior con­sul­tant at Lorna

Whis­ton This helps him dis­tin­guish be­tween sim­i­lar let­ters and words while read­ing.

BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL

Let your child see you read­ing, as this might mo­ti­vate him to em­u­late you, says Anita. More­over, make it a habit to read with him reg­u­larly, even af­ter he has learnt to read in­de­pen­dently. Make trips to li­braries and book­shops to­gether to fur­ther pique his in­ter­est in books – it’ll make for a fun day out as well.

READ TO YOUR CHILD EF­FEC­TIVELY

To sus­tain Ju­nior’s in­ter­est, use an an­i­mated voice when read­ing to him. In­ter­act with him – dis­cuss sto­ry­lines, teach him to em­pathise with the char­ac­ters and get him to pre­dict how the story will end, sug­gests Anita. Make learn­ing fun – choose books with rhymes and repet­i­tive re­frains, and play them up. Read­ing should never be a chore!

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