Here are a few suggestions to help make reading aloud together fun and to enhance your child’s pleasure and learning. These are also great strategies for introducing a child to a new book that you have chosen for them.
Show your child the cover page. Explain what the story is about.
Talk about the pictures. You don’t have to read a book to tell a story.
Point out the words. Run your finger along the words as you read to help the child follow along.
Make the story come alive. Create voices for the characters and use your body to tell the story. Shout, whisper, be adamant, shy, arrogant and humorous right along with the text.
Slow down. When you’re reading aloud, your grandchild needs time to form images and mentally put them together, so speak clearly and slowly.
Let your child control the pace. If he wants to skip ahead to find out what happens, don’t insist on finishing a page.
Ask questions about the story. “What do you think the princess will do now?” “Why did the pig say no to the goat?”
Let your child ask questions. Use the story as an opportunity to discuss familiar activities, objects or concerns.
Let your child tell the story. Children as young as 3 can memorize a story, and many love an opportunity to express their creativity.
Your efforts, joy and enthusiasm will work magic on a story. And your children will have a new reason for listening to and enjoying your reading.
More tips and suggestions about what and how to read to your kids, go to Books and Beyond.