Reading to your children comes with countless benefits, helping them to grow smarter with each book. As a parent, you can help your child form good reading habits by introducing them to books early, whether they are just a baby or in preschool. Creating a loving environment around reading will help condition children’s minds to feel that reading is a positive, enjoyable activity. Here are a few tips on reading to your children:
When reading to your children, make sure that each child can see the pictures on the pages. This may require you to sit between two children, or have multiple children sit in a semicircle while you are seated slightly above them. Use lots of expression while reading, changing your tone to fit the dialogue. Adjust your pace to fit the story by slowing down during suspenseful parts to create anticipation. Make sure your children pay attention to the words, not just the pictures in the book.
Before storytime, give children a few minutes to settle down before diving in. Introduce the cover of the book first, helping them to read the title with you and asking them what they think the story will be about. Provide a purpose for reading by prompting your children to see if they can figure out what problem the main character is having and how it gets solved. Give them information about the setting of the story and the characters.
While reading, ask questions and add more information during the story to help the kids understand things more clearly. For example, if there is an unfamiliar word used in the book, elaborate on the meaning. Ask what they think will happen next and ask questions to further interpret the meaning of the book. Spend time focusing on the illustrations and how they relate to the story. When questions are asked during the story, answer them patiently.
After finishing the story, recap the story by discussing the main character’s problem or goal and how it was resolved. Ask questions about why certain things may have happened or what the children would have done in that situation. Ask them if they have ever felt the same way the main character did in the story.
Most importantly, make reading a fun and exciting activity for kids. Use different voices and sound effects to hold their interest and get their imagination going. Children imitate what they see, so let them see you reading in your free time to inspire them to do the same!
At Children’s World Learning Center, we know that the early years of life matter because early experiences affect the brain. As a child’s brain grows, the quality of the experiences that a child has creates either a sturdy or fragile foundation for all of the development and behaviors that follow. Parents want to make educated choices for their families, and getting things right the first time is better than trying to fix them later. Contact us today!