1) Add dimension and Props- When reading to a child electronically make sure that you add a few props to go with the story. You can also end the story by sharing a food related item, for example when you are reading a book that is based on cookies throughout the story (ex: When You Give a Mouse a Cookie), enjoy a cookie on your end while the child enjoys the same yummy snack from their end.
2) Bring The Author to Life- Before you read the book online, take a few moments to learn about the author or illustrator. Many authors/illustrators have uploaded content to our website, just click their name from their book page to read a short bio and explore their social media links. If for some reason you can’t find the info here on Be There Bedtime Stories, do a Google search.
3) Read The Book to Yourself First- Take an extra five minutes and browse through the book by yourself first. This advanced reading will help you refine the story so that you can leave out material you might want to shorten or possibly even emphasize. This can also help you read through the book with ease, once you have had a “practice” reading.
4) Slow Your Reading- The most common mistake in reading aloud whether the reader is a five year old or ninety-nine is reading too fast. Read slowly enough for the child to build mental pictures of what they just heard you read. Slow down enough for the child to see the pictures on the screen without feeling rushed. If you read too fast, it leaves no time for the child to vocalize and express their thoughts and feelings about the story.
5) Play The Cover Game- the first time you read the book, take some time to discuss the cover illustration, ask the child what they think the story is going to be about based on the front cover illustration. This is a great way to have a deeper conversation outside of the story with the child you are reading to.
6) Say More Than Just Goodnight!- As you read the story, keep the child involved by occasionally asking them what they think is going to happen next. This prompts them to use their imagination and gets them thinking about the story on a deeper level. Reference locations or things that you have shared in your experiences with them. For example: if you’re reading a book about the ocean, then recall when they visited you on the west coast last summer. That way, you keep those memories fresh and they have a personal relationship to the content in the book. At the end of the book, remind them about any upcoming visits or refer to something going on in your life that they may be familiar with, such as “I was in my friends garden yesterday and she has daisies, just like the ones that we planted in your garden together last summer!” Take advantage of the video recording and ‘Say More Than Just Goodnight’.
Tips provided by BeThereBedtimeStories.com