– By Shonal Agarwal
Tips for How to Teach Kids to Read Books:
The love for books is perhaps the greatest gift you can give to your child. And reading out to him is a fantastic way to connect with him. Children develop much of their learning capacity in the early years as the brain develops rapidly during this time. Therefore, it is imperative for you make use of his early growing years to introduce habits that you feel are essential for him to learn and practice.
Make use of this fact and swiftly move him into the world of books. As a parent, you can read, sing, or maybe just talk about a book or a story to your child – all these activities will stimulate his brain cells. Starting to read early will help build a base for his literary development, which will add great value in his academic years.
You can convert the reading session into a fantastic bonding time with your child
However, most parents remain confused about the right time to introduce reading into their child’s routine. It is never too early to begin and age plays no role. As soon as you begin communicating with your baby, you can start reading out to him. It is not always necessary for a child to understand what is being read; it is rather a conditioning for later literacy. As a child grows up with books, he learns to hold them, feel them, learn his first word and build experiences.
When you read out to him on a regular basis, you lay the foundation of an independent reading habit in the years to come. Gradually, the child begins to notice road signs, grocery labels at the supermarket and much more. Reading makes him a better listener and also equips him with a richer vocabulary.
Regular reading will give way to a longer attention span. Reading also enhances self-esteem and helps build confidence in the little minds. It develops a sense of inquiry, curiosity and an ability to think beyond. It challenges the creativity and imagination of the child.
Children develop better thinking abilities and learn to deal with new situations on their own. The illustrations and pictures in the books can also encourage an interest in art as children begin to associate with the form and design.
You can introduce a variety in their literary life with a plethora of reading material – large board books, touch and feel books, pop-up books and talking books are some of the exciting options. Give them variety. If one day it is the tale of a lovelorn princess, the next day, it should be the story with a moral. This will keep them excited and hooked. Introduce them to rhyme and rhythm. A book on body parts can be as educative as it can be full of fun. You will love to see him wiggle his fingers and stomp his feet.
When you read out to your child, make sure to make it a special time – put everything else aside and make it an engaging and interactive session. As you read out the story, ensure that you point out and describe interesting pictures, talk about the colours used in the book, the different shapes and sizes and description of the characters. This activity will build an excellent base for further conversations between you and your child.
Encourage him to recite a familiar word or phrase as you read. Follow each word with your finger, reading slowly, and pronouncing each word clearly. Soon, your little one will understand that letters combine to form words and words combine to form sentences. Soon, he will begin ‘pretend reading’, squealing with delight and attempting to babble new words.
As a parent, you have the power to encourage reading in your child. Sometimes, children have to be lured to books. So do your bit.
Best Story books to read for kids:
The 10 must-reads for your little one:
1. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne, illustrated by E.H. Shepard:
This classic story hasn’t aged and Shepard’s understated illustrations remain the best. Visit Hundred Acre Wood and meet Pooh, Piglet and Christopher Robin.