Wednesday, 20 November 2013

On Reading With Children 1-2

Reading with a 1-2 year old can be tricky. They have shorter attention spans, are full of beans, and are too young to understand, on an intellectual level, the value of reading. (Sadly, “but this is good for you!” does not work on children younger than 8, and even then it’s a stretch.)

But there are ways to encourage reading. Set a good example – let the kids see you reading, let them see you discussing books. (This worked for me, as a child, and works very well on my four-year-old son.) And when it’s their turn to read, stack the deck a little:

-       select books that are high interest
-       set up a cozy reading nook – pillows and blankets, perhaps a chair fort
-       make sure the nook is away from distractions, such as toy shelves or the television

When it’s time to curl up with a book, let the children choose. Tired of reading the same thing over and over again? Set out a pile of Today Books, or Monday Books, and say that titles have to be chosen out of the pile. It’ll give adult readers a break, and help introduce kids to new fare.

Stuck for where to get started? Here are a few of our favourites:

Let's go to the baby animal farm. Follow the ducklings. Feed the lamb. What a day!

A vibrant picture book feature beautiful illustrations, and a combination of language and animal sounds to create a simple story that will engage younger readers.

Join Tom and his teddy bear Tilly for a journey across the high seas.

Fun and funny for the whole family, with gorgeous watercolour paintings to match the sweet text. And it comes with instructions on how to make a paper boat.

Babies wear all sorts of clothes - nappies, T-shirts, socks, trousers and hats. Helen Oxenbury's gorgeous illustrations capture the fun of getting dressed and babies' delight in everything they put on. No one draws babies like Helen Oxenbury. Her warm, affectionate depictions have been loved and cherished by children and adults around the world for over 30 years. In 1981, this groundbreaking little book was one of the most innovative board books ever published and is now considered a classic of the genre.