unset($_SESSION['OmniStatsList']); } ?>
Feb 15, 2012
The Early Years
There are a number of ways to develop and nurture a love of books and reading in your child, even when you’re not reading aloud to her. Incorporating a mix of library visits, story times and other reading related activities keeps reading from getting monotonous while also introducing your child to other learning environments, reading opportunities and hands-on activities.
Story time at the Library or Book Store:
It’s never too early to start taking your child to story time. It’s a great opportunity for her to be amidst books, listen to stories being read, interact with other children and people in general and maybe even pick up fragments of vocabulary and social skills.
Many story time sessions include a simple craft, finger play and some elements of music and movement, all of which are excellent ways to provide your child with a multi-sensory learning opportunity. For parents, it’s a chance to gather read-aloud tips from the pros, learn about top picks and award-winners among children’s books and let someone else do the hard work for a little while.
Taking your child to the library on a frequent and consistent basis establishes a positive connection in her mind.
Where do Stories come from?
Long before there were books, there were castles, monsters, mountains, princesses, frogs and children. And there were stories. You don’t have to reach for a book to entertain your tot with a story. One of the best ways to get your child (or anyone, for that matter) to sit up and pay attention is to tell a story. Even babies who don’t normally respond enthusiastically to books show interest when someone’s telling them a story.
Meal times, bed times and even diaper changing times with world squirming champs can become miraculously easier if you can master the simple act of narrating. Start with something familiar and gradually move into imagination territory, improvising, customizing and elongating your tale as you go. Stories can be as long, short, scary, funny, happy, sad, real, imaginary or silly as you and your child want.
And they still manage to pack in many of the benefits of reading aloud - vocabulary and language enrichment, creative stimulation, improved listening skills, bonding and a love of words.
Throw a Reading Party:
Planning a birthday party or play date for Junior and his friends? Why not throw books into the mix? Invite kids to bring over a favorite book.
Set aside some time to read aloud some of the books and play storybook games. Encourage kids to act out their favorite parts from a book.
Let kids guess what happens next in a book they haven’t read before. Have each child bring a book he has read before as a gift to trade with another child. In short, make a celebration out of reading every chance you get.
Author visits at local book stores are great opportunities for your child to put a face to the words you read to her.
Meeting the creators of a book inspires and motivates children to explore their work. Musicals, plays, movies and live shows based on children’s books further reinforce their interest in and love of stories.
In a nut shell, it all starts with you picking up a book to read to your child. But it most certainly does not stop there.