Tips for reading with your children

17th Sep 2013
Tips for reading with your children

We strongly believe that the earlier you start reading to your child the more likely they are to develop a love for books and in turn this will encourage a child to read because they ‘want’ to, not because they ‘have’ to! At Kids 1st we provide books for the children in every room throughout the nurseries; this includes the youngest babies to the oldest pre-school children. Here are some tips on reading with your children at home:

Babies
Reading to your baby at a very early age provides much needed bonding and cuddle time. Babies love focusing on the bright colours in books and they also love listening to the sound of your voice. The more close interaction you have with your child, the earlier they will start vocalising. These first sounds they make are the beginning of their speech. The more sounds they hear, the more they imitate and the stronger their muscles get to help with the formation of their first words.

Toddlers
Toddlers love simple stories and in particular the ones with sound effects, things to open and stories with repetition. They quickly begin to copy the words they hear and can anticipate – what happens next!  Reading aloud to them helps develop their concentration and listening and language skills and stimulates their imagination.

Pre-School Children
Pre-School children really enjoy a wide range of stories as their vocabulary, knowledge and understanding is more developed. They also want to know why things happen and how things work as they can begin to make sense of the world around them.

Tips for good storytelling:
One of the most important points to remember is to make story time really special. Build up your child’s anticipation throughout the day by telling them you’ve chosen a new book to read later and you can’t wait to read it to them!  Rest assured they will be so excited to hear it and desperate to know “when is it story time?”

  • Choose a book that is appropriate for the age of your child.

  • Read the book yourself first a few times so you are familiar with the story – because always remember enthusiasm counts more than experience!

  • Make sure there will be no distractions and the reading area is comfortable.

  • Pace yourself as you read as this adds mystery to the story.

  • Be as expressive as possible – using sound effects and different voices if the story requires it.

  • Put some humour into it!

  • Don’t feel as though you have to read all of the script – ad lib a little and comment on the pictures on the pages so it is more relaxed.eg “can you see the little bird in the tree?”

  • Be prepared to ask questions – e.g. “oh no what do you think will happen now? “Why do you think daddy bear was so angry with goldilocks?” This encourages your child to really concentrate and understand the story.

  • Always be prepared that your child will ask you to read the same book over and over again so please try not to show your exasperation. Your child loves it so every time you read it, make it as exciting as the first!