Tips for Reading to Children

The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.’  At least that’s what Dr. Seuss thinks and I hear he’s a very smart guy!

Reading to your child is the most important tool in helping them learn.  Taking just 15 minutes before bed to tap into their imagination will help you stay connected with them, while teaching them.  

Here are a few tips when reading to children.

Timing

Short and sweet does the trick.  Make sure the story you are reading isn’t too long.  For instance,  a two year-old doesn’t have the concentration to sit and listen to you read for an hour.  Pick a short book of ten minutes or less.  

Even with older kids there’s no need to read three or four books.  Have them pick out one or two and read away!

‘Be’ the Part

Keep it interesting and maybe a little silly for them.  Play and speak the part while reading.  If it’s a mouse talking, use a squeaky quiet voice and a deep loud one for the lion.  The smiles and laughter will be your reward.  

Ask Questions

Get your child involved in the story.  Ask them what they think or what might happen next.  If you keep their brain working, they are less likely to get ‘bored’ of it.

No Excuses

Even if you haven’t got a book, you can make a story up as you go.  Besides, they are often more entertaining than any story from a book.

Point and Read

It’s important to point to the word you are reading, as your child is developing word association.  They may not be able to read yet, but they can recognize letters, sounds and words.

Keep It Positive

A child that wants  to listen to stories, is a happy child, at least when it’s time to read.  By stopping while your child still wants to hear more, you are helping to keep things positive.  If you go on and on, it may turn your little one off of ‘story time,’ and nobody wants that.

Let Them ‘Read’

Even if they can’t read yet, pick out a word for them to recognize and every time you point to it they will ‘read’ it.  With this you are keeping them involved, while building their confidence.

Use these tips to help you connect with your child during reading time.  Do it regularly and you’ll both reap the rewards!