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  • Writer's pictureBrooke O'Leary

Read Together, Grow Together: The Power of Shared Reading!

Incorporating books into daily routines can significantly impact your child's speech and language skills, among many other developmental skills. Shared reading is an interactive and fun way to target speech sound production and awareness, increase comprehension, build vocabulary, enhance narrative language and help with social emotional development. 

Build Vocabulary

  • Books expose children to a rich array of words and concepts, expanding their vocabulary in an engaging and interactive manner. 

  • Through reading, children encounter new words, explore their meanings, and learn how to use them in context. 

  • Parents can facilitate vocabulary development by discussing the meanings of unfamiliar words, pointing to pictures, and providing simple explanations during storytime.

Enhance Language Comprehension

  • Reading aloud to children helps develop their listening comprehension skills and understanding of language structures. 

  • As parents narrate stories, ask questions, and engage in dialogue about the plot, characters, and events, children learn to make connections, infer meaning, and follow the sequence of a story. 

Encourage Speech Sound Awareness

  • Books provide opportunities for children to hear and practice various speech sounds and to enhance their phonological awareness (the ability to recognize and manipulate sounds in spoken language). 

  • Rhyming books, repetitive phrases, and alliteration captivate children's attention. Encouraging children to join in during repetitive phrases or identify words that start with the same sound promotes speech sound awareness and phonemic skills. 

  • If your child is working on a specific speech sound, repeat words with that sound as it comes up in the story for repetitive practice. 

Promote Narrative Skills

  • Storybooks offer a structured framework for understanding narrative elements such as characters, setting, plot, and resolution. 

  • Engaging with stories allows children to develop narrative skills by retelling stories, predicting what might happen next, and creating their own imaginative narratives. 

  • Parents can encourage narrative development by asking open-ended questions and taking turns retelling aspects of the story. 

Foster Social and Emotional Development

  • Books offer opportunities for exploring complex emotions, empathy, and social interactions through the lens of characters and storylines. 

  • Reading stories about characters facing challenges, expressing emotions, and resolving conflicts helps children develop empathy, emotional intelligence, and social skills. Discussing characters' feelings, perspectives, and actions cultivates emotional awareness and promotes healthy social-emotional development.

Some of My Favorite Books: 

Little Blue Truck Series 

  • Titles: Little Blue Truck, Little Blue Truck’s Springtime, Little Blue Truck’s Halloween

  • Ages: Great for toddlers and preschool aged children

  • You can use these books to target: Sequencing, rhyming, early developing speech sounds, farm vocabulary, social skills related to friendship.

Bear and Friends Series

  • Titles: Bear Snores On, Bear Wants More, Bear Stays Up

  • Ages: Great for early elementary school children 

  • You can use these books to target: Sequencing, answering wh-questions, later developing speech sounds such as /th/.

Mr. McGee Series 

  • Titles: Camping Spree with Mr. McGee, Down by the Sea with Mr. McGee

  • Ages: Great for upper elementary school children

  • You can use these books to target: story retell, inferencing and predicting, rhyming, vocabulary, problem solving 

Reading may already be a part of your daily routine with your child- and that is fantastic! 

  • Use these tips to enhance reading time together to target your child’s growing speech and language skills! 

  • You can read before bed, while waiting at the doctor's office, or bring some books to the park and read outside! After school or daycare, you can take a trip to your local library where you can pick out new books together and spend time exploring the kids section there!

Happy Reading! 

Written by: Erin Griffin M.S., CCC-SLP

Certified Speech Language Pathologist

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