You Are At: AllSands Home > Kids > Education > Help your child learn to read
Before your baby can understand what you are saying, they will appreciate the wonder of words. Babies are naturally attracted to books, even if it's just to explore the texture of the paper or how the pages swing back and forth. As your baby listens to the sound and rhythm of a good story, he or she is absorbing the sounds of letters and the pitch of language.

Picture books are especially appealing during your baby's first year. Books that allow your baby to lift a flap, gaze into a mirror, pop-up a scene, or sniff an odor help focus attention. Listening to a story also fosters your baby's ability to pay attention. Most won't sit still for the entire book, though. They will want to chew and bang the book while browsing it.

Reading aloud to your baby is the best way to teach your child good reading habits while bonding. As your baby is nestled in your arms and soothed by your voice, story time becomes the highlight of the day. They begin to look forward to reading and eventually start following your finger as you read the words of the story. This is the birth of a new reader.

To encourage reading, you'll want to take these steps:

-Read to your baby from birth

-When your baby is old enough to pay attention, follow the words in the book with your finger

-Read the same books over as long as your child doesn't mind to encourage repetition

-Let your child read to you (it doesn't matter if they miss words or tell a different story)

-when your child gets older, write down words on cards and play reading games such as memory

-Take frequent trips to the library and bookstore and let your child pick out appropriate books

-Seek out reading groups at the library or school

-Never force reading. It will make your child resent it and lose interest and enjoyment

These steps should help you create a happy reader. Don't worry if it takes a while, reading doesn't come overnight!