Scallywag

We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.

~ Anne Frank ~

Young First Time Story Choices

April 21st, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 41 secs

Kids love being read to.

Kids love being read to.

For the littlest of children it’s fun to consider what’s suitable to read as “a young first time story”.

Not that it’s really so hard. Little kids are happy to hear anything… to a point. Of course, it has got to capture their interest (the jargon is, “be immersive”) and be relatable to them. If there’s one mistake that parents might make it’s reading something that’s over their kid’s head. A young first time story must contains things they have seen or else at least dream about.

That immediately means it mustn’t be too scary. In fact, I will go one step further. Avoid anything scary completely. Young first time story choices should be reassuring, fun, gentle, comforting, and rich with pictures (incidentally, teachers always like calling them illustrations but really they’re pictures – don’t tell them}.

When a small child hears their first stories from you they ought not be made afraid, worried, or confused. Reading material that affirms your love for your little ones is always the safest bet because they love it.

By this time, somebody is inevitably wondering, “When should I start reading to my kids?” and the answer is simple. Start immediately, even before they are born if you like. Yes, it’s true. Young first time story choices can be heard in utero! But if that’s a bit too much for you, start reading aloud within the first few months. It needn’t be much. But the rhyme and rhythm of your reading voice will go in, and the process of connecting with books will begin.

Parents have often asked me over the years, “How often should I read to my child?” and “How can I help my child to like books?” Well consider this: your young first time story choices will start the ball rolling and it won’t stop until they lose interest, perhaps as they reach their teens. Reading at least every day (like at bedtime) is an excellent strategy and a beautiful opportunity to bond together. As your child finds comfort in your routine of reading they will naturally be drawn to reading books on their own. It can be more complex, of course. But the foundation is there. So pick up something very simple, gentle, and appealing, snuggle in with your little ones and start reading.

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