Reading to your child is one of the best and easiest way to promote language growth. Books help children increase vocabulary and also encourage asking questions and commenting. As a speech language pathologist I begin many therapy sessions with books. Children are encouraged to label objects and actions, answer questions (i.e. “Where is the rabbit?”), and follow directions (i.e. “turn the page”). A child who is not yet speaking may be asked to point to certain objects to help promote listening skills and also check their comprehension. The following is a list of 5 books to encourage language development.
1. Dear Zoo
This book is short and sweet. Your child will learn animal vocabulary and also enjoy opening the flaps to the book. This book is geared toward children 3-years-old and under. One idea with this book is to hold down the flaps and have your child request to “open” them. Have your child label the animals as well.
2. Where’s Spot?
Another great flap book. This book also increases spatial concept vocabulary. There are animals hiding in boxes, under rugs, and behind doors. Your child can request to “open” the doors and also you can ask them where the animals are hiding. This is a short book but offers a lot of vocabulary and fun for your child.
3. Little Blue Truck
Little Blue Truck is a little bit longer than the other books. It is an entertaining book where the animals help get the truck stuck out of the mud. The book has a lot of animal and animal sound vocabulary. You can ask your child to point to specific animals to measure their receptive skills. You can also ask your child what happened to the truck (“It’s stuck!”).
4. Wacky Wednesday
This book is for a child who is 3-years-old and up. This book is great for children to talk about what is wrong on the pages. A lot of wacky things happen on each page such as shoes getting stuck to the wall, houses missing doors, and cars flying in the sky. Have your child identify things that are missing or don’t belong on the pages and then talk about it!
5. Blue Hat, Green Hat
Blue Hat, Green Hat, is great for a child who is working on 2-word phrases. Encourage your child to repeat the 2-word phrases that are used over and over again in this book. The book also helps to increase clothing and color vocabulary.
Enjoy spending time reading with your child!