Children mirror their parents and what better way to spend your time reading than knowing your child is watching what you do and then doing it themselves. Setting a time every day from when they are young is a great start in showing your child how fun reading can be. And for creative ideas to make reading fun, read on…
For children who cannot sit still
If you have an active child (especially a young toddler who never sits down ever) than it is really important to still read to your child. But I hear you, how do I read a book when they are running around or playing with toys and do not want to sit down and read?
Read during Bath Time
Read while the child (who is old enough to sit without assistance) is in the bath. Bath time can be great fun and before bed it can be a great time to introduce quiet play. Reading before bed during bath time can be quite beneficial. The echoes in the bathroom can really aid to your reading and pronunciations. Take in board books (so can wipe off any wet spots if needed) and if possible (for younger children) take in another adult to supervise the child while you have your eyes on the book.
Go to your local library
Libraries in Queensland now are fast becoming a new social hub for parents and children. Reading corners are provided for children as well as regular events, such as rhyme time and reading programs. Libraries are a great way to let your child choose their own books of interest and sit down and read together.
Speak in various tones, pitches and sound out sounds
Such as, the bees went buzzzzzzing. Use key words on each page to say in a different sound or tone to interest your child (no matter what their age). It is entertaining. Have you had that one teacher who speaks the same tone throughout their whole lesson? Boring! Mix it up. Even use different voices for different characters.
(Say it with me now … P-a-r-i-s – see even parents can have fun with it).
Find books of toys they love
Does your son have a major interest in air planes or cars? Finding books with images of air planes and cars will have him engaged very quickly. Same goes for girls, princesses, castles, dolls, whatever they love – there will be a book on it!
Make a reading space
You do not have to spend any money. Simply look in your cupboard. Have a sheet and use pegs to hang over chairs or peg onto a curtain. Find a way to have a cave. Add a blanket and two cushions and some books. You can even turn off the light and use a torch. A space set in the corner of the room, could simply have a blanket on the floor and books next to it, is another way to say, when we sit here we read. And you both sit down in the reading corner.
What if my child wants to play when I read THEM a book?
Then let them play. If they are in the same room and you are reading. Then they can still hear the words and the story. They may even come over and then wander off and then come back to look at the story and then go back to their toy. It is about putting the routine in, so in years to come, they make time to read.
Let them choose the book
A great way to get kids involved is to let them choose a book that they are interested in. Let your kids choose one each and then you choose one that might open up for different discussion.
As the child becomes a pre-reader choose lower level books and get them involved by pointing out the words
Reference books are still books
Often kids like to point and chat about pictures and reference books are a wonderful break from the traditional story book. An atlas or a book about bugs will always prove to the hold the fun and attention of an adventurous child. Use it as an opportunity to extend their vocabulary and to spark new interest and outside activities.
Use puppets during reading
Its true! Playschool used puppets for the same reason, to involve and engage.
Make reading a given
Just like cleaning their teeth or hugging you goodnight instil a love of books by making it a fact of life. Books should be read every day with excitement like it ‘just the done thing’. Its’ never too late to put this into practice.
There are many ways to get your child into reading. The best solution is repetition and do this by adding it into the day (at the same time, every day). Have fun reading!