Reading unlocks our creativity, enriches our minds, and transports us to faraway lands—all from the comfort of our favorite cozy reading spot! While everyone reads at a different level, at the end of the day, reading should be always be fun. As a mama, story time with my kiddo is one of my favorite parts of the day. Watching him learn, sound out words, point at the illustrations, or get fascinated by the smallest details always puts a smile on my face. Below are a few tips and tricks I have found helpful.Kimberly Palmucci
- Add reading to your child’s bedtime routine: This is a great way to help the kiddos wind down. It also creates consistency, dedicated quality time together, memorable moments, and a sense of togetherness.
- Find a cozy reading spot: Having a go-to comfortable reading spot can really help spark a passion for reading. Whether it’s a reading nook, cozy chairs, or a secret hideaway, snuggling up with a good book is always encouraged!
- Keep it fun: Try using different voices, animated facial expressions, or accentuating certain words to really sell the story to your little ones. This makes it fun for everyone, especially the children, who pick up on that enthusiasm and energy.
- Let the kids 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 them select the book they want to read? All kids are different, so if your kiddo 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 urgency: While reading to your little one, take your time. Remind yourself, “there is no urgency here.” Reading at a slower pace allows your little learner to follow along and make connections between the words and the illustrations. You can point to different words while reading to emphasize that connection. Spend as much time as needed on each page.
- What’s this? What’s that? This is a game our toddler loves with any book. Just point to any illustration and say, “what’s this?” We are always surprised at how much he knows, and the answers you get will surely put a smile on your face!
- Keep the kids included: As you are taking your time to read, pause and 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: Keep books in various locations throughout the house to make them accessible. We mix our son’s books in with the rest of his toys; it’s always adorable to see which ones he picks out or brings to us throughout the day for an impromptu story time!
- 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.
- Read it again…and again: Has your child found a favorite book they just can’t put down? Do they choose the same book for every story time? That’s great! 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 and become familiar with the words and characters.
- Have fun: 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.