We read throughout the day because I don’t want books to be associated with only bedtime, although we read at bedtime too. There is no shortage of research that talks about why reading to children is important, and as this article says it is enjoyable for both the parent and the child.
The first step in reading often is to include books in the “must have arsenal at all times” and you will soon find out that it is very effective in killing tantrums caused by boredom. Take it from me – it almost always works.
If you’re like most parents, taking a shower, using the loo, long drives and cooking dinner are certain to result in a few less hairs on the head because waiting and toddlers don’t go together. But since discovering that giving a few books to look at while I attend to my work is effective, I’ve not turned back!
Books are not boring and can never be, because you can match the books to your child’s interests. Whatever the interest of the child, there are books, thankfully! And if you’re creative, you can even make your books using photos.
Our current favourites are centered on transport, animals and the hospital (because his dad is a doctor). I also throw in some books on manners, dealing with emotions, life experiences like the first day at nursery and such because reading is a nice segue to conversations on difficult topics.
The hard stuff is always tempered by the fun and silly books that we’ve got!
As much as I love reading to my son, when he asks me what a rescue boat does, or what the song of a chickadee sounds like, I am stumped by my inability to explain with mere words and my lack of skills to summon a chickadee to my doorstep to serenade us.
So I’ve created playlists on youtube with videos relevant to books we read, so in addition to reading, we watch videos of what we read, to enhance the learning experience.
A book about animals then becomes a beginning of a larger conversation with additional information gathered through videos. I cast the play lists on the television so screen time is restricted to the list.
This works well for me as he does not get the opportunity to keep clicking on the ‘recommended videos’ that appear beneath the videos on a mobile device.
Talking about books is a great way to boost a child’s language skills and vocabulary. It is amazing how much they pick up from what we read and there’s plenty of research that show how important reading really is for kids, and how to actually read.
Talk about the content in the books on car drives and even at dinner time, and definitely every time you spot something related to a book you read and the more you read, the more you have to talk about.
A child’s mind is fascinating- how much they can absorb, how curious they are and how willing they are to talk.
For example, a simple trip to the local lake results in us making reference to Mrs. Mallard in Robert McCloskey’s award winning Make Way for Ducklings at the first sight of a duck and the timeless classic Chicken Licken at the sight of an acorn and an oak tree.