1. Have Repetition and Be Predictable: Do you remember how smart you felt, as a kid, when you figured out what was going to happen next in a story? With toddlers, it’s important to include books that contain repetitions, as they mature, add predictable and rhyming books. Read stories again and again. Your toddler enjoys repetition and it helps them become familiar with the way stories are organized.
2. Use Expressions & Rhymes: The beauty of reading with children is that you won’t be reading to a peanut gallery of harsh critics – release your inhibitions! Read with expression using different voices for different characters. This change in tone can help keep the child engaged and also teaches the art of storytelling – which is one of the benefits of our hands-free video storytelling platform! Toddlers also love rhythms and rhymes in stories, give them opportunities throughout the story to repeat rhyming phrases. Better yet, add a tune to it.
3. Have Child Repeat: Encourage your child to repeat what you say or comment on it and
encourage them to ask questions. Provide models of interesting questions and examples of possible answers. “I wonder where they are going to next? I think the bear will trip in the rock because he is not paying attention to where he is going. What do you think?”. Also encourage your child to make paying attention to where he is going. What do you think?”. Also encourage your child to make up next steps in the story, such as- “what would you like to see happen next”? This is the spark that storytelling causes in an imagination!
4. Make it a Routine/Habit: Make reading a habit for bedtime, after lunch, or after naptime. Research abounds on the benefits of daily reading for a child’s foundation of literacy for life. Combine reading with an encounter with relatives that are distant for uber-enhanced bonding! Bedtime stories happen every night, so pick one night a week and your child will begin to look forward to this reading time on the computer (or tablet) – as will the family member committed to this time with the child. You can even calendar the reading day so that they know when it is coming. Have them put stickers on each reading day so they can see when it is happening. Kids often approach the habit of reading as a chore, so by integrating it with computer privileges makes it cool and the storytelling dynamic teaches them about creativity.that has
Asking questions is under-rated! If you have a child who asks questions, encourage it and foster it. If they are conditioned to wonder about things it will make their school experience all the more rich and rewarding. A child who asks questions is engaged. Engagement is the most important thing for learning to occur (in my handbook). So the next time your child comes home from school (whether it be pre-school or college) instead of asking them what they learned that day, ask them if they asked a good question today!
Speaking of questions, here are some ideas for using questioning to engage your early reader.
- Questioning before, during and after reading does many things for the reader including
- Promotes curiosity and engagement
- Encourages Wonder
- Uses Imagination
- Grows a critical reader
Steps to Using Questioning with your Reader:
Look at the cover of the book together, noticing as many details as possible. Ask what questions they may have in looking at the cover. Generate some yourself such as “I wonder what happens to the girl on the cover.”, “ I wonder why she is holding books and pulling a wagon.”, “I wonder why people risk their lives to climb Mount Everest.” “I wonder what the problem in this story will be.” etc…
Encourage your child to stop and wonder during reading, asking as many questions as they may wonder. Jump in and do this yourself.
Think about what questions you may ask the author about the book.
Remember, some questions will be answered, some will not.
I was stuck at a car wash today. The sun has re-appeared in our corner of the world and I discovered I could not see out of any of my windows so it was time. Stuck is probably the wrong word because a nice little moment happened. Realizing I was not alone (my four year old was with me) I reached for her preschool folder to help keep us occupied. Inside were two books that she was reading in class and she asked to read them to me. Suddenly I was no longer in a car wash line, but blissfully listening to my proud little four year old take over. The stage was hers. She couldn’t wait to read to me. She didn’t stop at just the two books. She then showed me what she did on her worksheet packet where they were graphing candy hearts and the heart maze she completed on another worksheet. Wow! Who was this forthcoming four-year-old??
This made me realize the many distractions at home that prevent this from happening (with the exception of bedtime when she is only attempting to put off the inevitable). This is my preschooler who can hardly seem to recall what they had for snack each day, much less tell me about what they read today in class. Taking the basic skill of reading and re-packaging it does wonders in showing what your young one can do. Our new ‘package’ was being inside a car, waiting in line.
When my daughters send a Be There Bedtime Story to an aunt, uncle, grandparent or buddy down the street they get to practice their reading in a slightly un-conventional way. It allows them to show what they know using a different medium rather than conventional books (not that there is anything wrong with conventional books!). Reading a story online using a webcam just ‘repackages’ one of the most entertaining past-times we have and gives it a fresh new spin.
I also learned that I really do need to keep my car cleaner. I can’t wait to go back to the car wash. I hope there is a line…