Reading is a gift. It is a way to travel the galaxy, unlock our creativity, enrich our minds, and transport ourselves to faraway lands—all from the comfort of our favorite relaxing spot!
It is important to remember that everyone reads at a different level, and at the end of the day, reading should be fun! As a mama myself, I enjoy sharing the experience of story time with my little one and watching him learn, fascinated by the smallest of details. You can also finding me reading to groups of youngsters at libraries and schools, and I always like to make the experience interactive, enjoyable, and entertaining for my audience!
Below are a few tips and tricks I have found helpful when reading to children. Enjoy!Kimberly Palmucci
- Reading + bedtime routine = fun! Adding story time to your child’s nighty nights routine is not only a great way to help them wind down, but it also creates consistency, dedicated quality time, memorable moments, and a sense of togetherness.
- Find a cozy reading spot. Especially for story times at home, having a go-to comfortable reading spot can really help spark a passion for reading. Whether it’s a reading nook or cozy chairs, snuggling up with a good book is always encouraged.
- Keep it fun! I get really animated when I read, using different voices and facial expressions and accentuating certain words to really sell the story. It makes it fun for everyone, especially the children, who pick up on my enthusiasm and energy.
- Let them pick the story. We are teaching our children to be confident and creative decision makers, and what better way to encourage this than by letting your child select the book they want to read? All kids are different, so if your little one is having trouble deciding, you can offer a smaller selection of books from which to choose, rotating these options weekly for even more selections.
- There’s no rush! While reading to your little one, take your time. Go slow! Reading at a slower pace allows the your little learner to follow along and make connections between the words and the illustrations. I often will point to different words while I am reading them to emphasize that connection. Spend time on each page showing them the words and letting them look at the pictures.
- Keep them included. I utilize this often during my story times at libraries and schools, but it’s important to keep the children feeling included. As you are taking your time to read, pause to ask questions about the plot or characters. This will help keep your kiddos interested and involved with the story, plus it gives them an outlet to share their thoughts and get those thinking caps on!
- Keep what they love in mind! Does your child love dinosaurs, the beach, or cars? Or purr-haps, cats? Choose books that include your child’s favorite things to help nurture that love of reading.
- Books, books, everywhere. Keeping books in various locations throughout the house makes them very accessible. I personally keep my son’s books close to his toys, and we have books scattered throughout the house in other spots as well!
- Rhyming books are purr-fect! Rhyming books can help children remember the words and the story, even if they can’t read every word yet.
- “You want to read this one…again?!” Has your child found a favorite book that they can’t put down? Do they choose this book every day for story time? That’s great news! Keep on reading it over and over…and over…and over…that repetition helps them learn and feel confident as they begin to predict the story.
- Have fun! I cannot emphasize this one enough…reading should be fun! Every child is unique, every reader is different, and everyone goes at their own pace. Be patient, have fun, and enjoy these creative moments with your little ones.