Family Storytime – the most important time of the day!

FREE Download… Tools for Life Family Storytime PDF

Adults are often reluctant to read to their children because they fear that they are not good oral readers. Don’t worry, your child can’t discern reading skills. The child just wants to listen to you read. Even if you just choose a book and talk about the pictures, it will be a great experience for you and your child.

It is critical for young children to develop language skills. Because children learn through imitation it is important for parents and caregivers to provide opportunities that allow them to interact with language. Aside from engaging children in conversation, reading aloud and telling stories are perhaps the easiest and best ways to give children rich language experiences. Whether you read aloud or tell stories with your children, these activities are life changing and life enriching experiences for the entire family. They are memory making events.

When you read aloud to your child, the child …

hears the sounds of language

learns listening skills

begins to match pictures and story

begins to understand sequence of events

activates his or her powers of imagination

learns the essential skills needed for reading

– learns new vocabulary

watches you model the act of reading

Adults are often reluctant to read to their children because they fear that they are not good oral readers. Don’t worry, your child can’t discern reading skills. The child just wants to listen to you read. Even if you just choose a book and talk about the pictures, it will be a great experience for you and your child.

Some Pointers

ONE: Choose a picture book with more illustrations than text. If there is too much text, the story may be too complex for a toddler or younger child. You might even find some wordless picture books. These books have illustrations that relate a story, but there are no words. You and your child can look at the pictures and make up your own words that tell the story.

TWO: Look for informational books such as alphabet books. ABC books are perfect because the illustrations will relate to the letter of the alphabet. This will encourage conversation about the letters and items that relate to the letter. Books about animals and their homes; colors; numbers, etc. have little text, but many opportunities for you to make the reading experience interactive by engaging your child in conversation. “What animal is this? A cat, yes, and what does the cat say?”

THREE: Look for stories with simple plots and repeating phrases. After hearing these phrases, your child will soon be able to repeat them as you read the story.
Have fun reading aloud. You can use different “voices” for the characters in the story. This will immediately capture your child’s interest. Don’t forget to stop and ask the child, “What do you think will happen next?” or other probing questions that will let you know the child understands what is going on in the story.

FOUR: Don’t worry if your child wants to hear the same story over and over. That means he or she is intrigued by the story and wants to experience it again.

Anytime can be story time but reading a story at bedtime is a wonderful way to help your child calm down and spend quality time with you. Although you may feel like you don’t have time to stop and read, the benefits of reading to your child are worth it. In addition to the academic benefits listed above, when you spend time reading to your child you are building a special bond that will never be forgotten. When your child is sitting next to you or on your lap listening as you share a book, he or she will feel safe and loved. It is a special time when nothing else matters except that you are together. Years from now, your child will always remember when you read to him or her. Most likely your child will one day read to your grandchild

Download The Tools for Life Family Storytime PDF

Dr. Regina Rees
Senior Training and Development Consultant
Tools for Life

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