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Interactive Reading

What is interactive reading? You can read interactively with your children by following these suggestings:

1. Choose a book that both you and your child will enjoy. Take turns choosing books. Sometimes it is nice to choose a book you know you will enjoy, and other times you should allow your children to choose the book themselves.

2. Let your child set the pace. Infants, for example, love to open the book to random pages, glance briefly at the pictures, and turn to another random page. Some preschoolers and older children like to look at the pictures in depth before listening to the story. Still older children enjoy reading the story and discovering how the illustrations compare. Don't be so anxious to get to the end of the story that you forget to enjoy the journey.

3. Point out the illustrations. A good illustrator will add to the story with their pictures. Ask your children how the pictures support the story, and what elements in the pictures are putting more in the story than the words even say. Ask your children what they like about the pictures. By doing this, you allow your child to become more personally involved with the characters and storyline.

4. Give your child the opportunity to ask questions. Stop and explain anything that your child doesn't understand. This is a great way for kids to learn new words and begin to understand things that are different from what they see every day.

5. Stop at critical places to ask questions, especially when reading a story for the first time. For example, "What would you do if that happened to you?" or "How would that make you feel if that were you?" or "What do think might happen next?" Remember, there are no wrong answers -- encourage them to use their imagination!

6. When reading familiar books, play word games. Leave out words for your child to fill in the blank, or change a few key words to either synonyms or opposites. This helps develop listening skills, and kids love to catch you saying the wrong words.

7. Enjoy your time with your child! Your attitude will wear off on them, and they will discover that reading is something enjoyable to them, too.

We hope that these suggestions about interactive reading will help inspire your children to love reading and make the most of your time together.

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