(The following tips were quoted directly from Creating a Culture of Reading: Family Support Materials, Increasing Student Achievement Through Literacy. You can find more tips at www.Reading Rockets.org)
Tips for Parents of Babies:
Snuggle up with a book. When you hold your baby close and look at a book together, your baby will enjoy snuggling and hearing your voice as well as the story. Feeling safe and secure with you while looking at a book builds your baby's confidence and love of reading.
Tips for Parents of Toddlers:
Don't expect your toddler to sit still for a book. Toddlers need to Move, so don't worry if they act out stories or just skip, romp, or tumble as you read to them. They may be moving, but they are listening.
Tips for Teaching Your Child About Phonemes:
Focus on one sound at a time. Certain sounds, such as /s/, /m/, /f/ are great sounds to start with. The sound is distinct, and be exaggerated easily. "Please pass the mmmmmmmmilk." "Look! There's a ssssssssnake!" "You have ffffffffive markers on the table." It's also easy to describe how to make the sound with your mouth. "Close your mouth and lips to make the sound. Now put your hand on your throat. Do you feel the vibration? Once your child learns a few phonemes, it will be easier to keep talking about letters and sounds.