How to read a book to your child…

1. Do what comes naturally.

Use your common sense and take your cues from your child. Trust your instincts.

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2. Read with expression! 

Ham it up! Use different voices for different characters. I love doing the voice of the Big, Bad Wolf in The Three Little Pigs -“I’LL HUFF AND I’LL PUFF, 8319124_origAND I’LL BLOOOWWW YOUR HOUSE DOWN!”

3. Take your time.

Don’t rush when reading the words. This will allow your child to make mental pictures of what’s happening in the story. This helps with understanding.

4. Use simple books.

Use board books and very simple picture books in the beginning. The book might have just one word on the page, or one sentence.  My kids loved Sandra Boynton’s board books – they’re colourful and humorous.

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5. Show your child the cover

Say the title. Talk about the picture on the cover. Who or what is n the picture? What might the story be about? This can take just a few moments.

the-going-to-bed-book-sandra-boynton

6. Read the book all the way through.

The first time, read the book all the way to the end without stopping. This lets your child hear the story as a whole, take in the language, and it helps with comprehension. And, enjoyment, too.

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7. Then you can go back…

After the first read through the whole book, go back and spend a bit of time on each page if you like. Point to objects on the page, and say their name: “Oh, look! That’s a cow. A cow says ‘Moo’. With older children, you can go into more detail: “We get milk from a cow.” When my daughter first saw a picture of a cow, she asked: “Can it eat you?”
As always, take your cues from your child.
If your child wants to spend more time on a book, do so.  If she or he starts to get fidgety, move on.  Remember you want reading to be fun!
Here’s a great blog – Delightful Children’s Books – with terrific suggestions for simple books.
“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild to pick up a book and read to your child.”          -Dr. Seuss

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