Books create a special bond between parents and their children. Books can enhance children’s listening skills, help them learn to read, introduce them to new concepts and even help calm fussy children.
Here are a few tips for sharing “Book Time” while at home with your children.
1. Find a comfortable place to sit away from distractions. Turn off the television, put away video games or computers. Just piling several pillows in the corner of a room and sitting on the floor makes a wonderful “nook” to read.
2. Set aside a special time when you share books. Maybe before nap time, bedtime or after an afternoon snack.
3. If the children cannot read the words themselves, engage them in the story. Hold the book so the children can clearly see the pages. Speak slowly with a clear, steady pace and use inflection in your voice. Children love it when you actually use different voices for each character in the story. Have the children point out objects, discuss the pictures and even point to words if they are beginning readers.
4. Allow the children to select books, but you can always suggest several of your own. Often children want to read the same book over and over. Tell them you will read their favorite book if you can read a different book first.
With children under the age of 3, I recommend board books. These books have sturdy pages that are nearly indestructible. Many popular books such as Goodnight Moon, Dr. Seuss’s ABC: The Amazing Alphabet Book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear come in a board book version. The fun thing about collecting a few of these board books is that children this age love to hear the same stories over and over again.
You can check these same beloved titles out at a local library for children ages 4-7 and rotate 3-4 different books each time. Children at this age are beginning readers and by age 6 some children will be able to read these books to you. Many of these books are available in Spanish as well. Check your local library.
If you have children above the age of 8, I recommend starting a chapter book such as the Junie B. Jones series, A to Z Mysteries or the Captain Underpants series. Even though these children are of reading age, all children love to be read to. Chapter books give them something to look forward to continuing each time you sit down together.
Being enthusiastic about books and sharing them with the children will foster a bond, help to ease anxiety and grow excitement for an activity you can share together!
Beth Anderson, CEO of Chic Galleria Publications, LLC, Editor-in-Chief of ChicGalleria.com and is a member of STYLE COALITION, an elite group of beauty and fashion publishers for HEARST DIGITAL GROUP. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest.