Grandparents want to ensure their grandchildren grow-up with a future of infinite possibilities! Education is the ticket, and reading for pleasure is fundamental to achieving that goal.
One of the best gifts grandparents can give their grandchildren is to use some of their time together, whether they live nearby or far away, to encourage reading enjoyment. Here’s 5 simple suggestions:
- Read-aloud to your grandchildren, even if they’re reading independently. Be affectionate, cuddle up, and have fun! For beginning readers, use a finger to point to each word so the child can see each word as you read. With older children, try “popcorn reading” – take turns reading chapters, pages, paragraphs – adapting to the comfort level of the child. If you don’t live close to your grandchildren, schedule frequent video conference sessions over the Internet using Skype or Google Hangout. Do you sometimes struggle with what to say? Liven up the conversation – read a picture book!
- Inspire discussion about what they’re reading. Rather than asking a question that leads to a “yes/no”or one word answer, try prompting questions that begin with “Tell me…”, “How would you”, or “What was…”. Or tell a story from your past that relates to the book, to help them correlate what was read with something in their own life.
- Create a special physical space in your home for you to share books together. This reading nook could have a cozy chair, a fun lamp, and their own bookshelf, for example. Load it up with a variety of books: stories they love, series they’ve been wanting to read, new genres or themes to expand their reading interests, or books that are on an exclusive shelf that your grandchildren read and re-read only with you (or independently) during visits to your house. And swap titles in and out – keep it interesting!
- Visit the library to read together, participate in storytimes, and check out books when you visit their home or when your grandchildren come to visit you.
- Set a good example: let your grandchildren see you reading often and collecting shelves full of books in your home.
Naturally, MCFL librarians would be happy to help you with any of the above, read-aloud tips, books suggestions…just drop by, call, email, or chat!