Reading aloud to children not only creates a special time for just you and them, it promotes early literacy skills and gives them a leg-up when it comes time to learn their ABCs.
Here are some tips to get the most out of your story time:
• Start them Young!
Reading with children should be started as early as possible. I’m not suggesting you start reciting War and Peace to your baby, but infants do love the rhythmic sounds that come from reading. Nursery Rhymes can be funny, with actions and voices, while simple songs are soothing and promote calmness and bonding. Pick up a children’s book that rhymes for an instant favorite.
• Choose a Special Spot
A big comfy chair or quiet reading nook is the key to focusing a child. Choose a place free from noise and distractions and make it your special story time spot.
• Set the Time
Try to have reading time not only in the same spot, but also at the same time each day. Bedtime is a perfect time to wind down and share a story. Be consistent with both these things; story time should happen daily.
As any parent who has been forced to watch Finding Nemo a million times knows children love repetition. Chances are they will find a favorite book that they want read to them over and over again. Keep reading the book, use funny voices, and ask your child what happens next. Children learn best through repetition and their favorite books will eventually become invaluable learning-to-read tools.
• Touch is Ok
Especially with smaller children, touch is a very important aspect of reading. Many children’s books are hard cardboard or have shiny, bumpy or fuzzy things to touch. Allowing a child to touch a book will help engage them. Ask them to point to things in the pictures and, eventually, to specific words they have learned.
• Visit the Library
A visit to the library should be a fun time. Although they do treasure the books they own, it is a great way to find new characters and adventures. Let children pick out a few books all by themselves. Create excitement around the event.
Reading aloud with children not only prepares them for a future of literary love, it creates an intrinsic bond and magical moment between child and reader. My First Sticky Mosaics Frog Prince Book, from our new Story Craft line lets children decorate their own book of illustrations to this classic tale. This kit comes with a text-only book for Mom or Dad to read while children follow along with their own personally decorated picture book, making magical memories as only a fairytale can.