Tips for Reading with Kids

Parenting and education experts certainly agree that reading aloud with, and to, children can help them to better understand the kind of world that they exist in. It is also beneficial in developing vital learning and language skills. Most importantly, as parents and children spend time to read together, young children also develop more affection towards their parents, and a love for reading which will certainly last their lifetime.

However, in today’s busy society, how can parents or even caregivers imprint the importance of reading time to young children, thus making the entire experience more fun, rewarding and productive at the same time, for themselves, and as for their children? The following are some tips that parents can implement when reading with kids.

Helpful Tips

First time parents, or even those who find themselves lacking of time when it comes to reading with kids, will certainly agree that effort is further required in order to achieve the goal of being able to read with their children. Some parents find the following tips as very effective in doing so:

  • Start reading with kids as early as possible. As a matter of fact, even tiny, little babies smile upon hearing the intonations and rhythms of the voice of a loved one. For this, rhyming text and poetry is perfect for them. Even though they may not understand it well yet, they also love looking at eye-catching, colorful artwork. As a parent, you can also take the time to get children used to the thought that listening and looking at books is a very interesting activity.

  • Cuddle together with your child as you read a book. This is a very powerful and kinesthetic way in which you can subconsciously help your children associate the act of reading with joy, warmth and love. It also helps in planting the seed which will allow them to grow into passionate readers as they get older. At the same time, it also makes for a perfect child/parent bonding time.

  • As you read together with your child, it is also helpful to trace the lines using the tip of your finger as you read aloud. This is particularly helpful for younger children who are just starting to read, as this enables them to follow together in associating the letters, as well as the words, together with the sounds that they hear, and the images that they see. This will further encourage them to learn how to read by themselves.

  • In order to make reading with kids more fun and enjoyable, you can make good use of character accents or voices. Children love hearing the voices of different characters coming to life. This can also help in activating the reality of the story, as well as the characters, allowing children to engage their imaginations.

  • You can also read with the so-called vocal ‘color’. This is most probably one of the most important tips that parents have to remember. By making sure that you keep your voice interesting and alive, you can make the difference when it comes to improving the ability of your child to listen carefully while following a story. Here, you can use emphasis at different parts of the story, coupled with tenderness along the way. You can also find the rhythms and cadences of the language used by the author, trying to convey the mood or the intentions of your characters. There is no need for you to overly do it, as your children may become disinterested if the vocal acrobatics are overly done as compared to the story. However, it is still important that you avoid having a monotonous reading. Make sure that you keep it fresh!

  • When reading with kids, you can also stop from time to time so that you can ask some questions. You can also check with your young listeners in order to know about their reactions and thoughts to the pictures or story. You can ask “Why do you think she or he did that?” “If you were the prince/princess, what would you do?” “What do you think will happen?” These are questions that you can ask. Make sure that you also look into their eyes as you listen to their answers.

  • Another thing that makes the story very exciting is if you personalize the story. For this, you can look for effective ways in which you could insert the name of the child into the story, particularly if it is a book which directly speaks to a child, and uses pronouns only, or substituting a character name with one that is familiar. You can also create parallels between the characters and events in the story, as well as that of the life of your child.

  • You can even take the time to role-play with the story’s dialogue. If your child is able to read, you may easily divide the roles of the characters, and do alternate readings of the dialogue together. This is certainly a fun way to draw your child into the story, helping them to learn how to read aloud with interesting animation.

  • Make sure that when reading with kids, you can also fuel the individual interests and passions of your child. At this point, you already know what your child loves the most. With that information at hand, you can also search for books that can speak directly to their very unique interests, and be ultimately willing to read the very same books several times in a row. With this way, you can also affirm to your child the value of having their own perspective and passion.

Reading with kids will certainly turn out to be a very interesting activity that you can do at home. It will not just stimulate their skills in reading and learning, but it will also foster your bond together, thus allowing for a very healthy relationship to develop.

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