Reading Can Be Fun

Encouraging literacy in your little one is extremely important and can begin at a very young age. I started reading to my children within the first few weeks of life outside the womb. I think it’s critical to start reading to children before they can crawl. Get them interested and “hooked” because once crawling begins then the desire to move will typically trump sitting still to read until walking is mastered. My son loves to read and has always been interested in books. Hopefully this will rub off on my daughter as well. Do you have a child that doesn’t want to sit still to read? A preschooler who just doesn’t seem interested in books? I have a few tips that will help make reading a little more fun and encourage early literacy in your youngster. Kids-Who-Love-Books

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Getting presents are exciting for children, especially when they are delivered by the mailman. Enroll your child in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to receive a free book every month until the age of 5. This is seriously free. I absolutely love it! This has been great for my family because it exposes my son to books he would never choose to buy or check out from the library. It broadens his scope, you could say. The books are age appropriate and they deal with issues your child could be facing such as making friends, introducing siblings and new people (doctor, dentist, teacher), sharing and going to kindergarten. If you would like to enroll your child visit www.imaginationlibrary.com.

Raise a Reader Month-by-Month Program

The Rochester Hills Public Library offers the Raise a Reader Month-by-Month program which is funded by a PNC Foundation grant. You can sign up your child born after January 1, 2011 by visiting http://www.rhpl.org/images/stories/Youth/EarlyLit/RAR_Month_by_Month_Flyer.pdf. Once you sign your child up, he or she will receive a free book each month until the age of two. You must go to the library to pick up the book, which further encourages spending time at the library.

Change of Scenery

FroggyToyShop

Meghan’s son checking out the latest at Froggy’s Toy Shop.

A change of scenery, such as visiting the library or a bookstore, will help draw your child into books. Make it a fun event and spend time reading while you’re there! Froggy’s Toy Shop has the cutest little book area and a great selection of books to look at. Most bookstores and libraries have a story time also. We attend story time at The Rochester Hills Public Library. I do not have enough good things to say about this place! There are a myriad of story times and other events to help your child comprehend that the library is a fun place to be. If your child won’t sit still with you at home to listen to a story then a little positive peer pressure might be just the thing to get them engaged in a book. Plus, you can point out that such-and-such child didn’t run around the room during the story.

Puppets

Using puppets are another way to make reading more fun. Full-size puppets are fun but they can be pricey and sometimes scare little ones. I prefer finger puppets because they are more cost effective and children can use them easier due to the smaller size. Lytle Pharmacy has some really cute Sesame Street finger puppets that would be a great addition to any child’s story time.  They have a great selection of full-size puppets as well.

Fun finger puppets at Lytle Pharmacy in downtown Rochester.

Fun finger puppets at Lytle Pharmacy in downtown Rochester.

Movement and Song Books

If you have a child who doesn’t like to sit still then incorporate movement books into your repertoire. It gives an active child a chance to hear a story but also move around. Here is a list of our favorite movement books:

  1. Head to Toe by Eric Carle
  2. My Daddy Is a Pretzel by Baron Baptiste
  3. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
  4. Jump, Frog, Jump! by Robert Kalan
  5. Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton

Books based on songs are also a lot of fun. Singing a book is how I always started circle time in my various classrooms. Music automatically draws a child’s attention. Don’t be embarrassed and actually sing the words to the book to draw your child into the story. Check out this list for some fun singing and great illustrations:

  1. Down By the Station by Jennifer Riggs Vetter
  2. Down By the Bay by Nadine Bernard Westcott
  3. You Are My Sunshine by Jimmie Davis & Caroline Church
  4. If You’re Happy and You Know It by James Warhola
  5. The Babies on the Bus by Karen Katz

Don’t get discouraged if your child doesn’t seem to care to read. Each child is different and will prefer different times during the day to read. When I used to teach preschool I would read during snack time and lunch especially if the designated story time hadn’t gone well. I discovered that the children were physically occupied with eating so it encouraged them to be mentally engaged in a story. Experiment with keeping books in the car. Hand one to your child after they’re strapped in to give him or her the opportunity to peruse the pages during the car ride. Look for opportunities to share a book with your child today!

 

About Meghan Zeile

Mom-in-the-know and local writer for Rochester Media. Always looking for tips with kids, family life, and fun local adventures. Contact at [email protected]dia.com

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