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Putting Down The iPad: 7 Ways To Raise A Reader

These days it is easy to let your children get engrossed in the world of their iPads; there’s educational games, movies and even interactive stories that can be read to them highlighting reading words just like mom and dad.  However, this may not be the best way for our children to get a love of reading.

Princess Ivana, featured blogger at Modern Mom,  wants to fix that by encouraging parents to use bedtime stories.  Yup. The classic story time can be your time to encourage young readers’ love of books.  Here’s seven ways you can make this time count.

Make stories part of bedtime:  Reading with your children during this time increases their chances they’ll feel positive about reading.  Dr. Barry Zuckerman, chief of pediatrics at Boston Medical Center and co-founder of Reach Out and Read, says, “It’s tough for kids to say goodbye to the excitment of the day so falling asleep can be so much sweeter with a parent at their side, reading their favorite bedtime story…”

Bedtime story party:  Start bedtime a little early and give your child a chance to have a little more fun with the reading adventure before winding down.  You can have family members act out the story with flying, finding treasure, or dressing in costume.

Retell the story:  Children will often cling to a favorite book.  Have them tell you the story.  They can “read” pictures and use their imagination and memories to help them.   For older children have them summarize the book or chapters for you.  Later this will help with reading comprehension and retention.

Work words into daily life:  Read everything to children.  It would seem staying on their grade level is best, but if you find books that interest them a little above their level it will increase their love of reading and vocabulary.  Try reading games like Scrabble Jr. or have them help you find words in word finds.

Have them write their own stories:  Giving children ownership of the story helps them become more involved in wanting to read the story.  You can have them tell a tale from school, use photographs to spark their imagination as to what adventures happened before, during or after the picture, or start a story at bedtime and let them create their own ending.

Let fiction guide them:  We all have bad days and experiences, but children don’t know that yet.  Helping them through tough times by reading books with their favorite characters going through something scary or unfamiliar is a great way to help ease their anxieties.

Set a good example:  We already know kids do everything they see us do!  So why not build on that natural curiosity and show them your love of books?  Having reading time in the house is a great way to share our love of reading, but also your interests such as sports, medicine, comic book super heroes, and even other world cultures.  Your love of reading can open up a whole new dialogue with your child as well as their own eagerness to explore.

You can find out more about Princess Ivana at www.princessivana.com.

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