Want to enjoy storytime with your kids?
Studies upon studies tout the benefits of reading with your children at an early age. But what if your child doesn’t enjoy reading? Here are a few tips from our co-founder Jen and the American Academy of Pediatrics on making storytime more fun.
“Read to your child every day-even if only for a few minutes. It is your time together.”
Our family has made reading part of our bedtime routine. Brush teeth, read two books, then time for bed.
“Reading should be fun. You don’t have to finish a story if your child loses interest.”
Every so often, my daughter decides she’d rather play with a toy than finish a book. We keep the bedtime routine relaxed and flexible and tell her she can play for 5 minutes rather than read the story. This way she is happy, reading isn’t a chore, and she is still off to bed on time.
“Let your child choose the book even if it means reading the same book over and over.”
In my experience, toddlers love to be in control and make decisions on their own. Sometimes this means listening to her say “ummm” for two minutes while she struggles to make a decision, but most of the time it means reading the same books over and over and over.
“Invite your child to “read” to you from a familiar book that he has memorized from having heard it so often read to him or her.”
The benefit to reading the same book every freaking night is that your child will memorize it. When I read my daughter’s go to book (Ladybug Girl) I only say the first half of the sentences and my daughter finishes them. This makes her pay attention, learn new words (she just learned ankle and noisy, for example), and feel proud to be “reading” with me.
“Stop and ask about the illustrations or what your child thinks will happen next. The answers may amaze you.”
Reading is much more fun when you take your time on each page and don’t rush through it. We talk about the colors, little things in the background, character’s emotions, and anything else that happens to come up. Books are a great teaching tool and much more fun than flashcards.
“Read from a variety of children’s books, including fairy tales, poetry, and nursery rhymes.”
Our Dear Peanut book and Llama Llama are frequent reads at our house.
“Follow your child’s interests in choosing the books. There are many great books on non-fiction subjects such as the ocean or dogs.”
With my daughter, I have found the opposite to be true. We read about things in books, then she is interested in them in real life. It is fun to point an object or a situation out and then compare it to something in one of her books.
“Join your local library.”
If you are available, there are great toddler events during the day. However, if you are a working mom like me, you can only go after hours. It’s still a fun experience. There is a little bit of playtime, then they each get to pick out a few books by themselves.