The Magic of Reading
5 Different Ways to Read Books with Your Child in Kindergarten
Reading aloud and sharing stories with your child is a great way to bond and spend time together, while it is also a wonderful opportunity to promote language, literacy and brain development. As Speech Pathologists, we love hearing about all of our wonderful families making reading a part of their everyday life. As a parent, it’s nice to know that you have the power to boost your child’s learning potential simply by making books an integral part of their lives.
Research shows that even babies begin to love the sounds and patterns of our language as parents read beautiful books to them, with positive reading experiences helping to spark your child’s imagination, stimulate their curiosity and develop their understanding of the world.
Learning to read isn’t all about working out the printed text on the page, it is about developing listening and understanding skills too. By listening to stories, your children are exposed to a wide variety of words. This helps them to build their own vocabulary while they also become more familiar with the sounds, words and structure of our language, helping them to build early and critical literacy skills.
Here’s five different ways to read with your child. While trying these, remember to foster a love of reading with your child, read with joy and animation, read regularly every single day, and choose books that your child absolutely loves. Always read the story from start to end a few times so that your child gets the chance to hear the story uninterrupted, then try some of the following activities:
TIP #1: Read rhyming books that emphasise rhythm. These types of books are great ways to develop your child’s knowledge and awareness of rhyme and the rhythm of our language. When reading/singing rhyming books with your child, pause slightly before the second rhyming word. This will help your child to think about and maybe even guess what the rhyming word could be.
TIP # 2: As you read a story with your child, practice breaking up sentences into words. Say a sentence, and then, ask your child to tap or count on their fingers the number of words in the sentence.
TIP # 3: After reading each page of the book have a look at the pictures and use describing words to describe the nouns e.g. scary, spooky, miserable etc. Get your child to point to pictures using location words e.g. "Point to the witch the is underneath the bed", "Point to the frog that is in the pot."
TIP # 4: Read books with your child and ask them questions. This will help them to develop an understanding of story structure. Once you have finished reading with them, ask them the following questions: Who was in the story? Where were they? What happened to the characters? What was the problem? How did the characters solve the problem?
TIP #5: After reading a book with your child encourage them to retell the story. You can get creative with this and use finger puppets or role play, or you can simply make sure they retell the story including the important parts.