Reading to children with Mr Finney

Reading to children is in the first place an opportunity to sit with a child and share a moment of looking, listening, talking and laughing. That's why everybody has their own way of reading. Some kids like to climb on your lap, others prefer sitting next to you. It's much easier to read a book to a child if you have read (parts of it) in advance. Maybe the following ideas will help to make your reading experience even more enjoyable.

Where, when and for how long do I read?

The most important thing is that everybody is enjoying the reading. The quieter the moment and the location, the better. If the child's attention decreases, stop reading and start again later.

Where do I begin?

The cover of the book is often very telling. Look at it together and read the title. Then you can flip through the pages and try to figure out together what the book is about.

How do I make it exciting?

Take your time and read slowly and clearly. Try to emphasize some words ('he was veeery tall'). By looking the child in the eye now and then you make it easier for them to stay focused. Most children love to look at the pictures in the book while you're reading to them.

Should the child be quiet?

Reading to a child is really just talking to each other with a book as your guide. Stop reading every so often to talk about the story or the illustrations. Let your child respond and ask questions. This way the child stays involved in the story.

What do I do with difficult words?

The meaning of words usually becomes clear when you read the rest of the sentence or story. If your child doesn't understand a word, you can explain it's meaning, use another word, or point out the meaning of the word by using the illustrations. Children are more likely to remember a new word if you repeat it a few times.

Talk about it!

Children will better understand the story if the retell it or talk about it. You can also discuss the subjects, events or characters in the book. Try to apply the story to the reality of the child.

Again, again!

Kids love to hear a story more than once, because every time they hear it, they will understand and notice more. By talking about different subjects that are related to the book each time you read it, it remains exciting.

Have fun reading!