Help Your Child Love Reading
In a world of iPads, games consoles and toys requiring endless batteries, some down-time with a book can be wonderfully therapeutic. But how do you convince your child of that? Life is hectic for the modern family – it is hard to carve out a few minutes of peace and calm to read a good book. Yet that is all that is needed to create a young person who will love reading for the rest of their lives.
In ‘Help Your Child Love Reading’, Alison David uses her experience and extensive research to show parents how to instil a love of reading that will improve not only their child’s life, but theirs as well.
Providing guidance for parents of children aged 0-16 years, Alison discusses the importance of reading for pleasure at every age and gives practical tips for making reading fun for the whole family.
Here are Alison’s tips for reading with children aged 0-4 years.
How to Read
- Use colour, rhythm and intonation in your voice to vary the tone. It can be really fun to exaggerate – e.g. a sharp intake of breath to show extreme surprise, or anticipation, or ‘OH NO’ for any dangerous situation and so on. Ham it up, they’ll love it!
- Use different voices and accents for different characters. You don’t have to be able to pull off a perfect accent. It’s enough to vary your voice. Simply make one character speak in a deep voice and the other in a squeaky high voice, for instance.
- Encourage your child to complete familiar phrases by pausing before the end of the sentence. They like repetition and love to show they know what is coming next.
- Spend plenty of time on the pictures if your child seems to enjoy this. Before they learn to talk you can ask ‘What can we see?’, and answer ‘We can see a bus and a dog...’ and so on, As they become more aware, you can ask them ‘Where is the frog?’, ‘Can you see the tractor?’, and let them point. As they learn to talk you can ask ‘What can you see?’ you can also pretend that you can’t see something; children love knowing more than you do! Try saying ‘I can’t see the frog anywhere, can you?’ And follow them finding the frog with lots of praise.
- Bring books to life! If you’re going to the seaside, find a seaside book – Lucy and Tom at the Seaside, for example. There are many books that tell stories of what happens at the seaside. In the Mr Bump book he falls into a hole on the beach. You could dig a hole and say that it’s for Mr Bump, then read the book again either on the beach or at home that evening.
- Slow down. We all tend to read too fast when we read aloud. Allow yourself plenty of time to get the most fun out of each word and sentence. It doesn’t matter at all if you stumble over some of the words. Remember, your child is really enjoying basking in your undivided attention.
- You don’t have to finish it! If their attention starts to wander, ask them if they would like a different book – and let them choose.
- Allow them to munch on a healthy snack while you’re reading.
Here at Routes to Reading, we know that sharing books with babies and toddlers is key in laying down the foundations of a lifelong love of books. Start your reading journey today by spending even just 5 minutes reading to your little one every day. It will help your child in every subject at school and in every part of life. Get even more fantastic advice on how to make reading an enjoyable part of your routine by buying Alison’s book.