Encouragement for those who enjoy teaching young children to learn
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Second in a Series of Musings on Exciting Ways to Motivate Your Young Child to Read
A lot of the buzz, as far back as I can remember, has been to read to your child beginning at an early age if you want your child to have a great love for reading. And, I agree with this wholeheartedly! But what about making it have intense meaning for the child? How can you accomplish this while reading to your children?
Taking a cue from my grandson, Silas, who calls our Siberian husky "Cali, the big red dog", while reading to your child you can make him the main character of the story. Who says that you have to use the name that is supplied? Children love to hear their own name mentioned in the book. My daughter Anna loved it when we read the story Anna Banana to her (unfortunately for her the name has stuck as a nickname).
Another way to have it have meaning to the child is to involve the child in the reading process. I love the book Ferdinand by Munro Leaf for this express purpose. Ferdinand is a bull who loves to smell the flowers. Children love it when, instead of saying the word smell, they draw air into their noses and make the sound of sniffing, and then say the rest of the refrain, "the flowers".
And, what child doesn't love to "act out" a story? With or without simple props, with or without simple costumes, the action of bringing the story to life is so intriguing to young and old alike.
Storytelling, involving the child (or someone the child knows) is another way the word has intense meaning to him. Telling a story to the child about himself (real or fantasy) can propel him into a love of language. These stories can even be written down (by you or the child) and illustrated with drawings or photos, though this is not necessary. Stories can be started and then added onto by the child, as a way to involve him in the storytelling.
The more ways your child can experience the wonderful world of language, the more he will have a great love for it! Happy reading! (literally)