Very young children will not necessarily know there is a difference between pictures or words. To them they see a book. It is fun to to focus on illustrations but also ok to turn their eyes towards the print. It is ok to run your fingers under the words as you read to your child.
Try to find words all around you in the world. Kids can recognize many signs such as McDonalds, Starbucks, a stop sign, etc. Show your toddler the weather forecast, or ask him whether you have apples or ice cream in your grocery cart while checking out your shopping list. This engages him, draws his attention to print, and teaches him that it conveys information.
You can start making word cards for him to read and play with. If he loves to eat a hamburger then print the word hamburger on a flashcard and tell him, "This says hamburger." Just introduce words gradually and have fun with them. Print out your child's name and hang it on the fridge so he can become familiar with the letters and sounds of a name that is unique to him alone.
Always make your reading events fun and stress-free. Weave these times naturally throughout your day. Words are everywhere, all you have to do is make your child aware of them.
When you incidentally start injecting words into your child's every day life he will receive an extended vocabulary, learn the ebb and flow of his language and also obtain a positive attitude towards reading before he even starts school.
Read on and read always. Have a word-filled day today!
Part 4- tomorrow