How To Boost Language During Story Time

May 8, 2020 | Daily Routines

If you know me, you know I LOVE to read. I truly believe reading should be a fun experience for kids and shouldn’t feel like a chore. But how do you make this daily routine exciting while creating language opportunities?

Less is More

If you are reading a book with your toddler, don’t feel like you need to read all of the words on a page. Most of the time I will read a few key points from a page and that’s it. As your child gets older and can maintain attention for longer periods of time, then you can read everything!

By reading less words, I am usually able to get through the entire book. Not only does this help your child stay engaged, you are also showing them that there is a beginning and an ending to a book. This is a great pre-literacy skill!

Ask Fewer Questions

Next time you read with your child, observe how many questions you ask! It might surprise you. This is something I still have to work on. Do any of these questions sound familiar:

  • What’s this?
  • What’s he doing?
  • Where is she going?

UGH! When we ask lots of questions, reading becomes a quiz and can even take the fun out of it.

Make More Comments

By adding more comments to this routine you are modeling TONS of vocabulary words. Your child might not imitate you right away but they are soaking in all of this language.

  • “Oh look! She’s eating an apple. That looks so yummy!”
  • “He’s wearing a blue sweater. That looks like the one you wore today!”
  • “I see a cow! A cow says moooooooo!”

Don’t feel guilty if you catch yourself asking questions! Asking questions are okay, just try to add a few comments too.

Find Unique Books

My last tip is to find some unique books. Look for books that have moving parts (like this one here), pop up pages, or books that come with puppets or other manipulatives. This keeps the focus on the story, promotes engagement AND makes reading exciting.

How do you make story time fun? I’d love to hear your comments below or send a message straight to my inbox!

Alyssa Dudley, MS CCC-SLP

Owner, The Child Inspired