Thursday, September 3, 2015

Roll With It - Tips for Reading with Your Child

Ever wonder when to begin to read with your child?

Ever wonder where to read to your child?

Ever wonder what to read with your child?

Ever wonder how to read with your child?

Ever wonder why the read with your child thing is so crazy important?

All of these wonders can be answered quite simply.

When to start?  Start NOW! Yep, whatever the age, even unborn, reading with your child can begin now.

Where to read?  Easy, wherever both of you are comfortable.  You can cuddle your infant while you read aloud, or explore a book while you sit in the sandbox with your toddler, or you can even lie on the floor side by side to share a book with your preschooler.  Basically, you can read with your child anywhere, anytime.

What to read?  Well, that changes over time so make friends with your local librarian!  Start with board or vinyl books that have durable chew-able pages.  Next, short picture books in board or paper form.  After that comes detailed stories with more words to accompany the pictures.  Eventually you'll get to chapter books and no pictures, the words will paint the images in your child's mind.

How to read?  For an enjoyable read, follow your child's lead - cheesy rhyme, but true.

An infant will be briefly interested, seriously for like seconds, and then ready to turn the page.  That's great!  Your child's interest is in the book as a thing.  Your child might like the pictures, but mostly will want to chew on the book.  Sometimes you'll get to read the words, sometimes not.

Roll with it because before long your child will want you to read a book. The exact same book, over and over and over again.  That's the toddler time when a simple story becomes your child's best friend - and your child will want to spend as much time as possible with that friend.

Roll with it because soon your preschooler will want you to read many different books, sometimes only once and then move on to a new book. And then your child will want to read the book, alone.

Roll with it because next you and your child can sit side by side, together, while you each read a book.   Maybe it's the same book, maybe not.

And finally, why is the read with your child thing so important?  Because it's fun.  Because sometimes a story will make you both feel happy and you'll smile together.  Because sometimes the story will be sad and you and your child will cry together.  Because sometimes you and your child will finish a book, look at each other and shrug your shoulders, together.

Oh, and your child will learn to read.  Which all proves that Emilie Buchwald was right when she said that "children are made readers on the laps of their parents"...

...until next time, keep trippin' on books.