I am the mother of two bright little girls ages 2 and 6, and I am always being asked how I was able to get both of them to read at such an early age. My 6 year old started reading at the age of 2 and her little sis is following right in her footsteps. My fellow Mom friends have been absolutely amazed by this and of course, they love for me to give up the secret sauce. 😉 So today, I am going to share with all of my fellow SuperMoms out there, some tips I used to teach my 2 year old how to read. Let’s dive in.
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Why The Heck Would I Want My Toddler to Know How to Read!?
Okay, so this is totally not about being an over-achiever. This is not about proving you’re the greatest Mom of all time. This is allll about your child’s well-being and development. Check out the infographic below.
As you can see from the infographic above, teaching your child to read early on can have a positive impact on them all the way into adulthood. There are also a few other reasons why I personally decided to teach my toddler to read.
Many children are not ready for Kindergarten when the time comes, and that adds an unnecessary amount of stress and pressure on their young minds. The vocabulary used and the introduction to reading in Kindergarten can be quite overwhelming if your child is not properly prepared. I wanted to do whatever I could to make sure my girls were well-equipped before they were even school-aged. This is what encouraged me to start working with them at home on reading, speech, as well as a few other things.
Birth to age 4 is a critical period for brain development in children. So I figured this would be the ideal time to start teaching my little ones how to read. I didn’t want them to view learning and education as some stressful way of living that they are being forced into. I want them to know from the very beginning, that learning can actually be quite fun. Admittedly, I am a bit of a “nerd”, “geek”, “bookworm”, etc. But I think learning can be fun for all of us- we just have to find what works best for the individual right?
Anyway, another reason I decided to teach my toddler to read was because I knew it would help them improve their vocabulary as well. I have to admit, I am not always the best at deciphering what my kids are trying to say. But I also feel super bad constantly responding to them like “Huh??” The way I see it, the better the kids can communicate, the easier all of our lives will be. That’s just a fact. Period.
I have also learned, after teaching my oldest how to read as a toddler, that exercising their brain through reading strengthens their imagination, pumps up their creativity, and helps them with their critical thinking skills which is SUPERRRRRR important!
I think teaching your child how to read early on is just an overall awesome idea (in case you couldn’t pick up on my enthusiasm in this post. Ha) They don’t have to read full sentences and complex storybooks. Remember, reading includes super simple sight words as well. 😉
Soooo….. how’d ya do it!?????
Ooooo. The juicy part. Time to give up the Krabby Patty formula (yes, I totally just made a Spongebob reference there. Judge me as you please).
But seriously, here are some steps I took to teach my toddler how to read.
- I would spend at least 15-20 minutes every day reading with them. I would let them sit next to me and I would point to the words as I read. I found it was most convenient to do this right before bedtime.
- We used audiobooks during car rides and whenever they wanted a little break from traditional reading.
- We would take advantage of Mommy and Me Playdates at the local library for storytime.
- I got the girls a library card and encouraged them to pick out up to 3 books they would like to read at home
- We regularly practiced our sight words using flash cards and while out and about reading labels, signs, etc.
- I would get a book of my own to read during my downtime and I would encourage them to join me by finding a book that they would also like to read silently. Leading by example. 😉
- For the most part, I followed a solid plan to help them learn to read- and I tried to make it FUN. Don’t be afraid to invest in a program that will take some of the pressure off of you and give you real results.
As always, I encourage you to find what works best for you and YOUR child. If your toddler doesn’t seem ready, there’s no need to try to force it on them. You can gradually introduce reading to them. I am really not a fan of stressing kids out. However, I am all in for catering to their development, and teaching your toddler to read definitely has some great benefits.
Do you have some tips you would like to share to add to the secret sauce here? Please share in the comments below.
Feel free to join in on the conversation on my Facebook page. See you there! 🙂