Once your child is at the pre-school or kindergarten stage, you can do a bit more while reading a book together.
1. What to do before reading a picture book
Read the title. Look at the cover. Talk about what’s on the cover. Ask your child to predict what the story might be about by looking at the picture on the cover. This can take just a few seconds.
Take a picture walk through the book quickly and simply. Don’t read it yet. Just look at what’s happening in the pictures. You can ask your child: “What’s happening here?” You can also name objects in the pictures. “Oh, what a lovely, pink cupcake!” Or, “She’s wearing a crown!”
2. What to do during reading a picture book
Once in a while, before you turn a page, ask your child to predict what might happen next. For example, you’re reading The Three Little Pigs, you see a picture of the Big, Bad Wolf trying to blow down the house of bricks, before you turn the page, ask: “Do you think the wolf will blow down the house?”
Don’t do this with every page – you still want reading to be fun! And, explain any new vocabulary.
3. What to do after reading a picture book
Talk about the story. “Did you like it? Which part?” Or, “Was it scary? Which part?”
Make connections to your child’s life experiences. “Do you remember when you were scared?” Compare the story to a similar one or to a different version of the same story. There are many versions of The Three Little Pigs. “What’s the same? What’s different?”
Talk about the story, but keep it short and sweet. Take your cues from your child. We want reading to be an enjoyable experience.
“Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks”. Dr. Seuss