I love reading books to children. And children love having books read to them. It is a win-win activity for adults and children of all ages.
Miss Vicki reading to children (pre COVID 19).
Instead of just sitting down and reading a book, there are so many fun ways to read books with children. One of my favorites is to read the book first, and then ask the child to read it back to me. I find it amazing how young children can retell the story even though they are not able to read yet! Children often memorize their favorite books. And if I use different voices and sound effects when I read the book, the child will usually imitate me when reading the story back! This is a fun way to encourage young children to read. Two of my favorite “read back” books with young children are Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? both written by Bill Martin Jr. The sound affects you can create in these books can be so much fun!
Before reading a story to an older child, I sometimes ask “What do you think this book is about?” We may take a walk through the pictures and try to predict what happens in the story. Then we read the story and have fun discovering if our predictions were correct. While you are reading the story, you can also ask “What do you think will happen next?” before turning the page.
After we finish the story, we may talk about what we would do if we were part of the story. This is where children’s imaginations can kick in to high gear! Enjoy their creativity and be sure to share your own ideas also.
It’s also fun to ask if they have any real-life experiences they can relate to the story. Listen intently, encourage them, and be sure to share some of your own personal experiences related to the story.
Colder weather and shorter days are here, along with social distancing and staying at home. When your children get cabin fever, grab a few books and enter the world of a children’s book. It’s a great place to visit, and many great adventures await you!
And with the holiday season rapidly approaching, consider giving books to the children on your gift list. Books are the gifts that just keep on giving!
Author: Vicki Starks, Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative Early Childhood Education Associate for Fayette County.