One of the fun and educational bonding moments you can have with your daughter and son are reading books. Books are usually read to children before bedtime. But did you know that more than being a good sleep inducer, reading books to them is also beneficial in other ways?
Reading books to your children can help them hear language in many ways. According to some researchers, it can also lead them to a better performance when it comes to reading, writing, and listening. Reading can create a connection between the reader and the child which facilitates a memory association in the middle of reading and a happy experience. It can also turn children into life-long readers, thus, making them life-long learners as well.
If you want to read books to your children, here are some of the fun ways which may help you.
Let kids choose their books: Letting them choose the books will help you keep the children’s interest and it will also make them feel they are important. You can also bring them to libraries and bookstores once in a while so they may be able to see different kinds of books that may catch their interests.
Create an awesome reading area: Reading usually occurs in your children’s bedroom before bedtime, but it can also be a daytime activity. To make it more fun, you can build a reading area with your child where you can comfortably hang-out. You can use different items around the house such as lamps, rugs, and beanbags.
Create anticipation: It’s also important to set the mood of children first before reading. Make sure that they are looking forward to the activity.
Talk about the cover: When your child has picked the book he or she wants, try to talk about the cover. You can ask them what they think the story will be about based on the book cover they see.
Provide an Overview: Before starting to read the story to them, give them a few introductions about it first. You can give them the setting of the story and the characters. If you’ll be reading to older children, you can also discuss with them the genre of the story whether it’s fiction, myth, mystery, science, or others.
Set a Purpose: To make them more excited to listen to you read, set a purpose at the beginning. Give them a task while you read such as figuring out the problems the characters will encounter and how they are able to solve it.
Show the pictures: While reading the book to them, make sure that they are able to see the pictures. This will help them understand the story better, and more than that, illustrations from children’s books can often add humor and whimsy to the story.
Change your voice and facial expressions: To make the storytelling more alive, try changing your voice and facial expressions to what will match the characters. Also, don’t read too fast because that will make it sound like you’re rushing to finish reading the story.
Make elaborations: Since you’re reading to children, try elaborating the story, or if there are difficult and unfamiliar words, explain to them further what it means. You can also ask them questions in between to know if they are able to catch up with the story.
Don’t ignore their questions: Most of the children really have a lot of questions in mind especially when reading to them. Make sure that you’ll be able to answer each of their questions all throughout the reading activity.
Let them reflect on the story: After finishing the book, give them time to reflect on the story. You can also review the story’s components such as the setting and plot and see if they are able to remember it.
Ask questions: You may ask them about the story and their favorite parts as well. You can also let them think about why the story happened that way, or why the characters behaved that way. Also, know if they are able to catch the moral values of the story.
Connect the story to your life: To make the story more meaningful to them, you can also try to connect it in real life. You can ask them what if they are the characters in the story, would they do the same? Or what would they do if a similar scenario happened to them?
It is sometimes a struggle to get children interested in reading. But once you’re able to catch their attention, it will be an activity both of you will enjoy. And aside from the fun time you both will have, you will also be able to form their reading habits early.