Your 3-year-old: Story time

Your 3-year-old: Story time

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Your 3-year-old now

Picture books are still the mainstay of a preschool reading diet, but it's a good idea to mix up your child's library. Some tips:

  • Don't overlook nonfiction. There are some great introductory books out there about everything from animals to trucks.
  • Touch on what's familiar. Three-year-olds love to read about things that occur in their everyday life, especially when the main character is a preschooler (or young animal): going to bed, shopping, cooking, going on vacation.
  • Look to books to combat fears. Ask a children's librarian for titles that help your child face his fears about thunderstorms, for example, or those crazy emotions he can't control, like sibling rivalry.
  • Don't toss the easier books with fewer words, like nursery rhymes. Before you know it, your child will be "reading" them on his own. The repetition helps him learn to relate what he's memorized to the words on the page, an important pre-reading skill.

Your life now

Just because you're a family doesn't mean you need to do everything as a family. Children benefit from the chance to develop a special relationship with each parent, as well as with extended family members and close family friends. It's great if there are certain things they expect to do mostly with you (drive to school, haircuts) or with your partner (bath time, grocery shopping). But it can be a treat for your child to have a special, unexpected outing with one parent or the other or with a grandparent.

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