It is true that at the early stage, the kids will only look at the pictures in the book. But when you will read the book aloud repeatedly every day, they will learn how the story is the same each time. They will flip pages on their own and observe words that you read.
Make it an everyday practice
When you make a routine, you will automatically create the time table in the child’s mind. They will know it is reading time when it will occur. If you make it a practice to read to them every night before sleep, eventually they will ask you to read to them before they sleep in case you ever forget.
You can pick a particular time slot when they are in between active and sleepy. The time when they do not want to run around or fall asleep. It is this particular time when kids are usually calm and like to sit and listen.
Let them find words
Give Your child a word to find. For example, “and”. Help them read this word and recognize it. Once they recognize it, open another page or maybe pick something else (newspaper page, magazine) and ask them to find the word there.
Always appreciate once they successfully find it but never criticize them.
Voice their opinions
Once you are finished reading the book to them, ask them questions. Ask about the character of the book. You can ask something related to the story as well.
For example, do you think the story ended perfectly? Or Would you want a different end to the story? etc.
Audio-books are also counted under reading. Don’t worry. Listening to perfect fluency of language and the expressions in tone will help the child to develop their own style. You can always carry audio-books and they are even great on car trips.
If you want to be more creative, you can read your child’s favorite book and record it. You can even make them speak a few lines during the recording. To make it more interesting, let the kid play little instruments for various sounds using cutlery or anything that makes sound.
Explore libraries and bookstores with your child
Make it a habit to visit a bookstore or a library at least once a week with your child. They will see more people reading books. Also, the number of books and colours would attract them.
They will start feeling familiar to books.
Read your books in front of your child
It is true that the child is more into watching you than listening to you. They may not do as you say but they will repeat what you do. As they say, “Children learn more from what you are than what you teach”. They are great imitators and as a parent it is your first responsibility to give them something great to imitate.
You should make it a habit to read your books when your child is around. You have to build a culture of reading in your home. You can even involve it as a culture where all the family hops on the bed or couch and read their own books together.
Let your children read what they want
Your kid may not always like what you like to read.
You cannot make choices to let them read on your wish. Let your child run in bookstores and libraries and let them pick a book themselves. You will know what catches their eye.
You have to let your child grow as a happy and independent reader. That is more important than always reading the ‘right’ kind of books.