He’s totally got his favorite books that we both have memorized, and sometimes we even resort to reciting them (without the book on hand) during long car rides or walks for entertainment and soothing effects.
We’ve all heard of the benefits of reading to your child. Great for parent-child bonding, building attention skills, fostering social-emotional development, and of course excellent for language development.
My most favorite thing about reading to my kiddo is switching up the way I read every time.
Being dynamic. Emphasizing different words, offering a mix up of dramatic pauses, pointing out different details on each page. So despite having the text chiseled into both of our long term memories, there is a new information every time we open the book.
Here are 5 ways to take book reading to the next level:
1.) Channel your inner-actor. Use different voices, change your intonation, and be dramatic when reading. Exaggerating emotions of characters (imagine just how shocked Brown Bear is when we notices a Yellow Duck looking at him!) can keep your kiddo engaged and begging for the next page.
2.) Repeat, Repeat, Repeat. It is the #1 way children learn words. Repeat phrases and sentences within a page, and emphasize different parts. For instance, “the caterpillar was still so so so very hungry.”
3.) Ask questions... good questions. Not just “Where’s the horse? or What’s he doing?” Ask about part/whole relationships, ask about feelings (Why was the cat so apprehensive about trying those green eggs?). If your kiddo is too young to answer these, ask them anyway and answer your own question.
4.) It takes two to tango. As much fun as reading is when you’re being this dynamic (I think I could probably entertain myself reading Peek-a-Who), let your child be as active as possible. Let them turn pages, give them time to practice sounds, and follow their lead for the speed of reading to make sure they’re still interested. It’s ok if you don’t get to the end of a book.
5.) Play charades. It’s true that using gestures can help kids learn words and language. So act out different parts of a book, with or without the book! If your child hasn’t quite gotten to the word phase yet, they’ll have a blast expressing themselves through actions.
Ok. So you’ve got 5 new tricks at being a pro reader, and your kid goes on to be one of the luckiest to have such a cool Mom. Need a few different reads to spruce up your book shelf? Check out the Resources page for more.
Now I want to hear from you. What are your favorite reads? These past weeks, we’ve been partial to Tip Tip, Dig Dig and Doggies. Leave a comment to help all the other Moms out there find some new go-to’s.