As you are reading aloud to your kids, take your cues from your them to make the book reading experience meaningful. Consider these tips as you read to two.
Find ways to engage both your children. Often, older children memorize portions of favorite books, so you might suggest that they “read” the story aloud. With your younger child, point out the pictures and talk about what they are. You and your older child can also create challenges for the younger child. For instance, ask her to find all the pictures of dogs or all the pictures of babies. As your child gets older, you can involve her more in the story, by encouraging her to think about what the baby is doing and what might happen next. And don’t get worried if your children seem distracted. Even if they play with toys during bookreading, they may be taking in every word you say.
Make book reading an enjoyable experience. To make stories more interesting, you may want to change words or substitute the names of your children for the characters. Take cues from your children as to when to simplify the language, or when to talk about what is happening, or when to involve them in retelling the story themselves. Older children can even add new twists and turns. What is most important is that you and your children have fun as you explore the world of books together.
Expect interruptions. They are part of the learning process. When a child asks for clarification, he is actively engaged in making meaning out of the story. But too many interruptions can interfere with the story. If one of your children is getting frustrated with all of the interruptions, explain that you will read the story first, then discuss the child’s questions later.
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