Three EASY tips to learn language through books!
Many families always tell me that they're concerned that their child cannot sit through a book! Honestly, in early intervention, we really don't expect children to be able to sit for a long time and only focus on one thing, especially if they're in groups. What we talk about instead is, how have we created opportunities for our children to be engaged in books? Are we making it fun? Or are we just drilling them? Do they get to read a book the way that they want to so that they actually want to pay attention?
Well, these are three easy tips to help support interest in books! Let's foster engagement and interest in books!
1) Instead of asking "what's this?" every time you turn to a new page or read a book together, make a comment about what you see instead!
Asking questions is typically 100% unintentional. When we want children to talk, we always ask questions. But with a child with language delay or anyone who is already not interested in books, do they have the words to answer these questions? Do they want to talk under so much pressure? Is answering questions even fun? Is my life a test?
By making comments, not only is this your "teaching moment", you're also taking the pressure out of reading and making it a more enjoyable activity!
Make comments about what you see, what the characters are doing, how they're feeling, etc. There are so many things to talk about!
2) Let your child guide how you are reading the book. This really means stepping back and reading books in unconventional ways.
Sometimes, children are just not interested in sitting down, staring at pictures, and listening.
Happens. And rightfully so. So let's change it up!
Maybe you're seeing them attempt to flip the page of a book. They can do that!
Maybe they want to read a book while lying on their back. That's okay too.
Maybe they want read the book upside down. Sometimes this just makes it fun and they will be more engaged.
Maybe they want to be bounced up and down while holding a book. That's great too! They get to experience books as something fun!
The KEY is are we observing how our children want to read books? Follow that lead!
3) Be fun! Be animated! Make funny sounds with the books. Pretend an animal is coming out of the book. Pretend that the book is getting eaten. Whatever works with the story that you're reading about.
Back in graduate school, sitting in front of a computer listening to a lecture for 3 hours wasn't always very fun. The fun classes were when professors started telling jokes, brought in demos, added a meme here and there. And I remember everyone of those moments. It was fun! I actually wanted to learn.
Same for kids. How are making book reading fun today? Are we making silly sounds. Exaggerated facial expressions. Exaggerated tone of voices? Using a different tone of voice to be another character? Fun is endless. Sometimes, we just have to let our inner child out!
If are looking to change up your book reading routine to support your child with a communication delay, get in touch! Scroll up and click "let's chat". I would be happy to consult and individualize the strategies to meet where your child is at in their communication journey.