Reading amidst distractions.
Reading is such a simple task, right? You simply pick up a book and just read the words from the page while sitting beside your child. Hmmm second thought. When the words of the story go on, my child’s attention goes on as well. The honking of the car on the street, the pigeon visitor and the millions of other distractions surround the little curious five year old. He has been like that since the beginning. So, I had to think of a clever way to get him to sit down and enjoy the story book.
Start reading early. It helps in making them Early Readers.
I started off early. For me there was absolutely no minimum age to read to my baby. In fact, I used to read and make up stories to my baby when he was just a few days. I remember reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (read review here). I know what you may be thinking – “Babies don’t understand anything.” Well, I loved reading and my baby just loved looking at my face. I was sure he was enjoying it.
Picture Books & Board Books for Babies
As my infant grew a bit older like 5-7 months, I bought hard copy books with big colorful pictures. That got him clued to the book like super glue. Slowly the books became a part of his meal time. Sometimes I would tell stories just about the food,
“Then one day a big apple came from the sky and swoosh into baby’s belly!”
Parent. Storyteller. Entertainer.
When my son was a toddler on the move, that is when the real reading challenge happened. I had to be not just a story teller, I had to be my child’s entertainer too.
Encourage kids to choose their books
Now baby boy turns into a young child and the challenge got tougher. Story books were competing with football and flashy transformer toys. That is when I reading all about him and his choice of books. My boy loved the power of picking books like Walter the Baker by Eric Carle (read review here) either from the library, book store or online. We chose our books together. He ecstatically says, “My choice..let me pick!”
Make storybook reading creative
I started adding drama to the story characters. While reading ‘Love you forever’ by Robert Munsch (read review here), I would sing a part of the song. And when we read ‘Mother knows best’ by Jill Murphy (read review here) at times we would both say the dialogues in the story. I make my funny witch voice while reading ‘Room on the Broom’ by Julia Donaldson (read review here).
Make kids active participants while reading, in interesting ways!
My curious mind thought of another way to get him hooked to reading. When he began to read on his own, we would first read the story and then I would choose a word from the page for him to read. He loves the exciting challenge.
Reading can be as cool as toys!
When the competition is tough with television and super cool toys, reading needs to be made a bit more creative, fun and even more super cool. I gave my child the power to choose his books, added drama and some creative games. And there you have my recipe of an interesting reading session.
awesome topic to blog about priya! i think my fav part is the way you’d get your boy to read from a word you chose on a page! very innovative and unique!!
i started reading to ini when she was 15 days old and reading books to her was a part of our daily routine.
– she had a bath time book and special songs sung along!
– she had food time songs and we’d talk about characters from books (like pepper!)
– there were special bedtime storybooks
we had (still around) an amazing children’s book library called Bookworm in Goa (they happen to be Kids Book Café ‘s reading & venue partners!). aarini would go there with her dad and select the books she’d want to read and bring home every week – they are organised according to age so she’d know she was supposed to pick up the green sticker books 🙂
to make book reading creative, i would change my voice for every character and be super animated while reading – so yes, it really helps to be the official clown in the house!
wow, this one has brought back so many amazing memories for me!