Here’s a post by my wife Maya. Read on.
Reading is an exciting pastime if only kids realized it! Though it’s a tall ask to expect kids to read whole words and get them exactly right as soon as they can start reading independently, it’s never too early to breed the habit of reading in your child so that she loves the feeling of holding a book and reading for reading’s sake. Here are a few reading games for kids that will stand them in good stead by encouraging reading as a hobby early in life.
Reading games with toddlers
Hold your baby in your lap and read to her from a story that has plenty of rhythm, lyrical words, and colorful pictures in it. Modulate your tone and point out at animals, flowers, and other objects in the story as you read. Allow your child to touch and hold the book for a kinesthetic learning experience. Brief but daily sessions of such reading games will allow your toddler to form a fulfilling relationship with books. If you read the same story for a couple of times back to back, the toddler will be able to point out at familiar pictures and objects in the story. When your child successfully learns to point out the objects that you read, you’ll know she’s made quite a progress.
The Game of Conversation
It’s important to converse with children to get them a step closer to reading. Ask hypothetical questions to your child and encourage her to ask you the same. You can ask why the leaves make a rustling sound while the bees make a humming noise or why the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. If both of you don’t know the answers to the questions you exchange, encourage your child to look up an encyclopedia to find the relevant answers. Learning to look up a pictorial dictionary or an encyclopedia is an exciting way to get kids interested in reading. If your child is not old enough to read, offer to read the explanation for her and explain the difficult words so that she understands there is a world of wealth to be unearthed once she starts reading.
A Little Game with Poetry
Read poetry with your children. It’s a good idea to read the same poem over and over with the child till she knows the lines well enough to act them out. Put all your dramatic skills into good use and enact words, phrases, and scenes from the poem you read with your child. As a result, your child will slowly explore the joys of reading. To up the fun quotient of this reading game for kids, suggest to your child that she puts up a facial expression, one that suits the tone of the poem, throughout the poem while you read it to her. For example, if you’re reading “Little Pig” to your child, she can say the lines after you in a way similar to what a pig would. You can invite friends over for dinner to be an audience to your child’s recital program if she’s comfortable with the idea.
Putting a Pause to Good Use
This reading game is for kids who can read independently. Choose an exciting story that has twists and turns. A fresh story that the child hasn’t heard before will work the best for this reading game. Read the story till the time you anticipate a twist in the story. Then, pause. Ask the child what happens next. Mostly she will be unable to answer as the story is new to her. If she decides to use her imagination and cook up the next sequences, offer her to read the next few pages aloud so that you both can find out what happens next. This is a great way to get kids to read longer stories and get them interested in the activity of reading.
The joys of reading can only be known when one comes to love reading. Encourage reading, encourage your child to explore.