Engaging in quality reading activities with your children is one of the best ways to be a good parent. It gives you a chance to build relationships and bonds between you and your children, and shows them that they are guided. It is also important for them to realize that a parent figure is always caring for and helping them. Interaction is important so that it will be a two-way process and it gives your children the chance to be responsive as well. Listed below are techniques that you may use to be more engaging or interactive when you read books to your children:
- Frequency is an important component. Allot a particular time or part of the day where you will regularly read a story or two to your children. This will make the activity more enjoyable since you are more focused on what you are doing and not other chores around the house. Your children, on the other hand, will be more aware of the benefits gained from the activity and it will be easier for them to develop the habit of reading since it is done regularly.
- Your reading interaction will vary depending on your children’s ages, reading levels and comprehension. For infants, the most effective interaction would be board book showing large, brightly colored pictures. This allows your young ones to flip on the pages as you progress, while you employ different voices, depending on the character in the book. Added to that, you may match the tone and pitch, like using a low voice for words like “deep,” “under” or “low.” These will greatly attract the youngsters’ attention because they become curious of the visuals and the sounds. Continue these ideas and activities as your infant grows into a toddler, gradually increasing the difficulty of the book, but continuing with picture books. Show your toddler that the picture is actually a word in the sentence. Help them make that connection.
- Preschoolers are usually those who are close to starting or have just begun school. Provide your preschooler with a reading list of rhyme and storybooks to sharpen their reading and vocabulary. For interaction, you may fill in the blanks with them, reading the first sentence and then allowing them the finish it with the next sentence or the rhyming word. For instance, you will read “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,” and they will continue with “Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.”
- The elementary level requires higher thinking skills and reading their school books and short stories with them will be fun. You can read in unison or you can play roles by assigning a character to each other, like reading a script. From time to time, let them think aloud and ask them to interpret a particular sentence or description and ask them what are the possible consequences.
- Growing up is not an excuse to keep the books away. You should still spend quality reading time with your teenagers. Classic and literacy books, magazines and newspapers showing current events and updated topics are some of the suggested reading materials. Engage with them on light debates and reflections, allowing your teens to connect what they read to their personal experiences and views. Allow them to make a stand and defend their opinions.
Reading books with your children promotes quality time. As parent, it helps you to promote love and learning to your children, which are two of the most important qualities in their upbringing. Take advantage of this activity and be engaging and approachable as much as possible. Introduce it to your child while rocking them as an infant and be grateful of the reward as your children grow under your loving supervision.