Getting started on a regimen of regular reading with your child can be a tricky thing. You might feel self-conscious or not be sure how to proceed. This is natural; most of us aren’t used to reading aloud, and we’re not sure how much our child can take before their attention wanders. It’s important to tailor reading time to your child based on their age, and this can range from several short bursts to longer term reading experiences. Learn the difference between reading in bursts of a few minutes at a time and reading for longer sessions, as well as when it’s appropriate to explore each.
When to Start Reading
You should start reading to your child as early as possible. Yes, it’s true that your infant may not understand the words and language yet, but they will respond to your voice. They will bond with you and come to understand that your presence is soothing and important in their lives. This kind of bond can last a lifetime. Even better, as they do come to understand what’s going on, books and literature will literally have been a part of them for their entire lives. There’s no better way to capture and keep interest!
Tailor to Age
Kids’ attention spans change as they grow. Don’t try to force them to sit longer than they are comfortable—otherwise, reading might lose its luster and attraction. Read short bedtime stories in bursts of maybe five or ten minutes. Then, if your child is still interested, you can explore longer reading sessions later.
Let Them Explore
Your child may get excited during your reading session and reach for the book or seek to play out what they are feeling. Don’t interfere with this. Kids explore their world through touch, activity, play and interaction. If you find them wanting to take the story to a different level, roll with it!
Guide Them to Longer Sessions
It is important, however, to build your child’s attention span as they grow older. Guide them gradually into longer and longer sessions of reading. Try asking them things like, “Don’t you want to see what happens to the princess?” Extend reading time by a few minutes at a time—don’t push it too hard. Your child will learn to appreciate enjoying the whole story for what it is, and before you know it, they might be asking for longer stories and more reading time!
Short Bedtime Stories
Short bedtime stories are a good way to settle kids in for the night and allow them to drift off with contentment and relaxation. Since they live in such an electronic interactive world, using an online eBook can be a great way to do this. We offer a wide variety of these works that you can explore entirely for free. Take some time to look at the no-cost eBooks we offer, and then explore our site for other tips and tricks that can help build a lifetime love of books and reading.