Getting the most out of reading time with your child can be difficult to accomplish. Your child might still be wound up from a wild day or want to do a myriad of other things instead to pass the time. How do you get them more involved and incentivize them to crave reading time more? Make it fun! Easier said than done, right? Not in the least bit. Let’s walk through the best strategies for making your reading time more fun and enjoyable for your child.
Read to them Every Day
Even if you only have a few minutes, it’s better than nothing. Kids latch on to the concept of consistency. If you’re not consistent, their behavior won’t be consistent when it comes to reading time and they may become less interested in the future. This model of consistency is an important part of your child’s day. They long for you to construct a pleasant routine for them that they will look forward to. Bonus points go to those parents who construct a cozy place to read together that can be something as simple as a special chair or even a pile of pillows.
Change Your Voice to Go with the Characters in the Story
Reading character lines in a different voice will get your child more involved in the journey of the story. You don’t to read it like you’re auditioning for an A-list movie role, but you should at least change your inflection to tell a livelier story. When you read, make sure to pause for dramatic effect wherever is needed and don’t just rush to the finish. You need to savor the flavor to get the best response.
Show the Pictures as You Read
Highlighting the nuances of the pictures to your child as you read will help them connect more with the book through the illustrations. Give them a chance to take in the full spectrum of emotions that the story has to offer by giving them the chance to connect the words on the page with the illustrations. These pictures often add a spark of humor and whimsy to the story that children might not be able to absorb if they’re only paying attention to the words that you’re speaking.
Talk About the Story After Reading
When you’re done with the story, briefly talk about what you covered and any lessons that you picked up on in the story. Conceptualizing this to your child will help them understand those concepts if they come across the page in future stories and in life itself. Make sure to point out any hard words to see if your child can figure out what they mean by looking at the surrounding words and pictures. Try to make it a game and see how many connections you child can make between the words and pictures and something in the story, your life or the child’s life.
Prompt your Child to Critique the Book
Open the floor to discuss open-ended questions about the book with your child to get their opinion on the story (their creative and clever responses might surprise you). Ask questions such as, What did you like? What did you dislike? What made you laugh? What did you learn? From there, you’ll get a better understanding of what they latched onto and what types of books to get for them in the future.