By Danielle Glaze
When I was little, there was a story-time radio program that came on at night during which a distinguished old man would narrate a children’s tale along with sound effects that had me bubbling over with excitement for whatever story was on deck for that evening. My parents often looked for unique resources to expose me to literature in order to foster my imagination and help me to hone my use of the English language. I fondly remember my mother reading me books before bed, my dad doing crossword and word-search puzzles with me, the Golden Book and Disney recorded audiobooks I listened to on my PlaySkool Cassette Player, and playing word games with my mum on the train after my parents got off work.
Today, there are many more resources at our disposal to make learning engaging and fun for all.
There is something nostalgic about the smell, feel, and weight of physical books. Whether it’s richly colored images gracing the cover of The Rainbow Fish book or textured pages like the ones in Beautiful Oops! you can’t go wrong with a hard copy of your favorite book! Encourage your little ones to turn the pages, dress up like one of the characters, act out their favorite scene, or memorize their favorite parts so that they can “read” along.
You can also draw and cut out their favorite characters and attach them to popsicle sticks. Have your child bring out each character when they’re introduced in the story and have a line that they can recite. For example, for the Pout, Pout Fish book your child can take their colorful fish and recite the Pout, Pout Fish’s infamous line every time it appears in the book!
From Kindles to iPads the digital age is one to be grateful for. When there is limited space to carry all of your child’s favorite books, load them all onto your device of choice and read at your leisure without the heavy weight!
At the moment, my favorite way to put a new spin on traditional stories and poems is this app where stories come alive. Children can see an animated version of some of their favorite tales like Cinderella, or books that encourage mindfulness and being self-aware. The stories are short, anywhere from 3 – 11min, so it’s a fun way to incorporate learning with a limited amount of screen time.
As I mentioned earlier, when I was younger I LURVED audiobooks and radio story times. Hearing my favorite characters come to life helped develop not only my imagination, but my listening skills and focus. A great way to foster development through listening is by having your child listen to their favorite audio book and then draw a picture representing their favorite part of the story. You can also assist them in re-enacting their favorite parts or have them tell a friend about what they heard. All of these activities help strengthen their listening skills and memory.
What are some ways you are helping your children to enjoy reading?