It is a fairly well known fact that story books for very small children must have lots of pictures that are colourful and interesting. But is that sufficient?
From a child’s perspective, there is so much to explore while playing. Sitting still for a book is something that is worth considering, only if the book is catchy and allows for exploration of a different kind. A simple story book with colourful and beautiful pictures is of no use, if it is not read out well. In simpler terms, it is boring.
Here is how you can change things and make reading an enjoyable activity.
Allow your child to choose the book from a small collection of books
Before you read a story book to your child, it is important to create the right setting. It helps to let the child choose a book that catches his or her attention. The ideal number of books given as choices must not exceed 6 or 7 at any given time. If the child does not find anything interesting in that set, it might be a good idea to show a different set, the next day and not right away.
A fixed time everyday to read a book
Habits form when something is done repeatedly, at about the same time everyday. Making reading an essential activity every day reenforces the habit over time and the benefits are manifold. Of course it is important to make the activity a pleasurable one so that it is something that the child looks forward to everyday.
Sit together or even better let your child sit on your lap
Research shows that emotional bonding over a story book has a powerful and favourable impact on young minds. Giggling over a funny story book together is a moment that you and your child will cherish forever.
Focus on pictures and not on the text
Children are extremely curious but with short attention spans. Different sounds, colours, pictures, expressions on faces etc. catch their attention. Focusing on the pictures and talking about them helps in retaining their attention for a longer span of time. When the story is being read out, several references to the pictures enables to understand the story better. Remember, the text makes no sense to very small children but pictures do.
Funny Sounds always work. Don’t know how to make funny sounds? Don’t fret, there is a way!
Changing tones and making funny sounds always helps them to enjoy the book reading session even more. There is no hard and fast rule or method for funny sounds. Let your child be your guide. Try different sounds and they will show you what makes them giggle. Hold on to it and enjoy the process. Over time, you will be able to gauge what works and what doesn’t.
Reading the same book over and over again
Once children learn that books can be a fascinating place to go to, they ask for the same books over and over again. Remember, they learn something new each time.
So, don’t hold yourself back. Grab a story book that your child chooses and read away. Happy Reading!