When we talk about "making connections while reading", there are three basic types of connections we are talking about: text-to-text connections, text-to-self connections and text-to-world connections.
For young children, the easiest kind of connection for them to make is a text-to-self connection. This deeply personal type of connection connects something in a story to something in the reader's life. For example, while reading a story about a farm, the reader might observe "This story reminds me of going to Uncle Ted's farm last summer when we were on vacation." The reader has connected something within their personal experience to some aspect of the book. This can relate to events or emotions. For instance, if a character in a story is sad, the reader may relate to that emotion even if it was under very different circumstances. "I felt really scared like that when I got lost at the supermarket." We can share our own connections and encourage our children to make connections as well by asking questions such as:
What does this remind you of in your own life?
Has something like this ever happened to you?
How is this similar to or different from your life?
What did you feel like when you read this?