What Are The Benefits Of Sharing Stories?

Sharing stories gives us a chance to spend one on one time together – no TV, no places to be, just child and carer together. Very valuable in today’s hectic world!

Reading a book can help provide a calm environment to discuss issues, problems, fears and joys. Many books provide avenues into discussion, into all sorts of different things.

Sharing stories provides young children with vital pre-literacy skills, helping them to succeed at school and beyond. Studies have proven this link and have shown strong correlations between book sharing and positive school performance. Most importantly perhaps is the link with self esteem. Children who are read to from an early age demonstrate a higher self esteem than those that aren’t. Reading early and often with your child may be the best gift you give them.

Finding Time – it is easy to see the benefits but much more difficult to find the time. Here are some ideas:

Make a date. Each day, work out a convenient time in your routine. With very young children this may be after breakfast, before bathtime, or at bedtime. Make this a habit.

Consider other times – read while on a bus or train; while children are in the bath; while eating at the table (some families prefer to focus on eating, but others have had good successes with making mealtimes less of a battlefield by bringing books to the table).

Choosing stories – once you find the time, how do you choose the right story for your child? Some ideas…

Visit the Library. Make a weekly time where you and the children head to your local library and spend half an hour or so browsing and choosing books. If you are unsure about what to choose, speak to Library staff who will be happy to help you. Worried about losing library books or damaging them? Most libraries understand that young children may occasionally have an accident, but see this instead as a great opportunity to teach your children how to care for things that don’t belong to them.

Choosing stories is easy – let them choose! children love to take control here, and often know exactly what they want. Just be prepared to read the same story 23 times in a day… alternatively, take turns in choosing so that you get to read some you really enjoy.

Choose stories you love. Children always know when you aren’t having fun, so try to avoid reading stories that bore you!

Reading the stories – you have found the time, chosen the story and are all cuddled up ready to read. What now?

Treat your reading as more of a conversation. Don’t feel you have to read every single word on the page. Involve your child as much as possible and be prepared to spend ten minutes on each page if that is what they want. This is a fantastic way to learn more about their feelings, likes, dislikes and interests. It is also a brilliant opportunity for them to practice verbal and reasoning skills.

Ask questions. Can you see the blue duck? What do you think will happen next? Does the girl look happy or sad?

Young children love repetition. Wherever possible, involve them by asking them to say repeated sections of the text. Prompt them by speaking slowly immediately prior to ‘their’ line, and looking at them expectantly. They’ll love this!

Noises and actions are also a great way to get them involved. Whenever you see the chance, include these in your sharing of stories – get children to make the noises, faces or actions.

Extras – what else can I do to make it fun?

Try puppets. Get children to act out the story as you read, or afterwards they could present their version of the story to you or another ‘audience’.

Games and toys can be a great way to extend your reading of the story. Keep discussing what happened in the story and making links between the game/toy and the book. The Library has some storysacks which will be helpful with this one.

Discussion – Get your child to recount the story to you or another adults. Talk about the key points, characters and ideas. Be amazed by their memory and insight!

Music – Ask children to choose a song to go with the story. Play it quietly while you read together. Or, if you are very musical, set the words to a song you know or have made up.

Most importantly – what are they key things to remember?

This is a precious time for you and your child. Value it, make time for it, and enjoy it. Relax and have fun!

Enjoy yourself. Children know when you are doing something just because you should rather than because you want to!!

Let your child be the boss. You are in charge, but this is one time when kids can really take the lead. Enjoy watching them grow, develop and learn. Allow them to meander over the stories and see what they come up with.

And most of all have fun!

Article From: https://narroginstorytime.wordpress.com

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