Posts tagged 'What Makes You Giggle'
(Artwork from Marianne Richmond's Hooray for You!)
First and foremost, it's never too early to start reading aloud to your child, or even to the bump in your belly! Reading to your little one, or simply reading together, no matter your child's age, is one of the most organic ways to bond with your child.
Furthermore, reading aloud helps develop your child's literacy skills at a young age. From vocabulary to phonics to comprehension, storytelling, and interaction with the printed word, reading books to children is a powerful tool for any parent looking to instill an early love of reading and learning!
If your child is getting ready to enter preschool or kindergarten, reading aloud together is a great preparation for this big, exciting change in his or her life. By reading books and stories aloud as often as possible, you're already introducing them to the importance of reading and getting them ready to start on their amazing journey of education.
If you have a baby or children and you're still feeling a smidge nervous to read aloud to your child (yes, it's normal!), choose books with a natural rhythm or rhyme to them. Perhaps practice when you're alone if you think it would help, and make sure you put yourself in a comfortable situation. Despite any sort of nerves you may feel, your child will be delighted and enthralled by the sound of your voice, even if you stumble over words or mispronounce a character's name. Go for it! You'll get used to it and learn to love it, we promise!
Every Parent Needs to Hear Some Positive Reinforcement…
• Babies love, love, love the sound of your voice! They also love to look at colorful pictures. Reading a book with your baby in your lap is one of the easiest, and most natural, ways to bond.
• Even if you think your child is too old to be read aloud to, think again! Reading aloud is great for older kids who are just starting to read aloud at school as well as voice their opinions in class. Take turns reading chapter books aloud, or let your child read the chapter book to you. Your child is never too old to enjoy a good book read aloud. Even though they may fight it at first, fight back and read aloud anyway!
Before You Read
• Start by turning off all distractions. This includes phones, televisions, laptops, etc.
• Find a comfortable place to read—a special rocking chair, find a seat on your favorite comfy couch or chair, or make a nest by the fireplace. Find somewhere that you can call your special reading spot.
• Commit to a routine time (morning or evening) and do your best to fit in reading aloud whenever possible. Reading aloud for at least 15 minutes each day will really make a positive difference in your child's development, as well as enhance their willingness to learn and read as they grow.
• Before you start reading the book you or your child has picked out, ask your child what they think the book is about. Show them the cover, read about the author, and look at some of the pictures together. Let them observe the book's details before you start. Compare your hypotheses once you've finished the story!
While You Read
• Get into your reading character. Use the book's cues to dress up or dress down your voice as appropriate. It's important for your child to hear you reading with changes in your voice and at a varying pace.
• Remember to use the correct tone, volume, and animation as you see fit. Incorporate sounds if you feel so inclined! There's no reason to hold back! Read with confidence and expression! Reading in a funny, intense, or loud voice to accommodate the tone of the book will really help your child get into the story, and they'll love it!
• Make sure you read slowly enough so your child can still soak the story in and have enough time to process the pictures and artwork.
• Let your child hold the book and/or turn the pages. Urge your child to point out pictures they like or things they find interesting in the illustrations or words.
• Encourage your children to ask about the characters, pictures, or words. Or, if they're reluctant, ask them questions about the story. Take the time to discuss the story afterward by asking your child about certain parts of the books, especially if there is a prominent lesson or powerful message (in most cases there is!).
After You Read
• If you have time, scan the book before you and your child get together to read and see if you can find connections to your family's personal experiences. You can then discuss them after you've finish the story!
• If you end up reading a story your child is particularly familiar with or it's already one of their favorites, challenge your child to tell you the story and praise them for their retelling!
Reading stories aloud is such a productive and happy way to enjoy books on a personal level together. Happy World Read Aloud Day!
Recommended Reads to Light the Way in Celebration of World Read Aloud Day! Find Below a Few of Our Personalized Books with Repetition and Rhyme:
Laughter's ability to light up a room (or a household, classroom, playground, even a cocktail party) and enliven an atmosphere within seconds is magical. Parents and children will always be able to relate to the power of a laugh or a smile, so why don't we do it more often?
Let's change that!
Laugh more frequently with your family by…
• Laughing at yourself. As a parent it's important to show your kids that you can be silly too. Prove to your kids that grown-ups know how to have just as much fun as they do. Laughter is a human quality designed to allow us to let go of our seriousness for a moment or two and really smile. Make sure your child picks up on this energy. If you make a mistake or you do something funny, laugh at yourself so your kids learn how to overcome worry or cope with anxiety by engaging a more positive, carefree attitude.
• Telling kid-friendly jokes. Telling jokes is a great way to stimulate a child's thinking process. And, chances are, if you tell them a good joke that really resonates with them, they'll be encouraged to retell the joke to their friends. This will teach your child how to remember a story, riddle, or phrase while challenging them to tell it in the correct chronological order. Your kids will be more confident to speak up in a group, will always feel they have something to say, and will learn how to relate that joke or story to other situations.
• Including a daily joke in your child's lunchbox—write it on a piece of paper or a napkin and toss it in their lunch pail. If your child is having a hard day, they'll be able to look forward to the note you've written, and you might be able to give them a little giggle or smile with a silly fact or a funny joke.
• Sharing funny happenings or out-of-the-ordinary occurrences with your child. When your child gets home from school, always ask him or her if anything funny happened at school that day—at lunch, recess, in the classroom, etc. Likewise, if something funny happened to you that day, share it with your child to see if you can get a chuckle out of him.
• Being silly together. Have tickle fights, chase your children around the house or the yard, let it all go and just be goofy with each other.
• Reading funny books that make you both laugh. Find out what kind of books, characters, or themes make your child laugh and seek those titles out to read together. It's always great to see a smile or hear a giggle when reading.
For both children and parents, laughter encourages a more positive attitude, releases all kinds of emotions, and can help you and your children overcome some of the tough stuff life throws your way. Laughing and smiling are some of the greatest joys in life, and are even better when we experience them together.
Having fun and laughing out loud together will inspire us to live freely, so let's do it more!
Take some time out from busy schedules to play and laugh as a family, and you'll live with less stress and more happiness.