Monday, September 12, 2011

365 Days of Reading: Tip #16 - The Book Worms

How do you keep a young child who is already a blossoming book worm continuously engaged? How do you challenge a child who is already literate beyond their years? This post is for my little friend Lily who loves books.

Here are some tips for keeping your little book worm engaged & entertained:

1. Give her access to any book that she is interested in, even if it seems way too hard, over her head or full of advanced concepts. (Keep in mind, book worms will devour books, so trips to the library will be in order lest you spend the college savings far too early.)

2. Vary her media. Audio books, e-books, cloth books (to go to bed and wake up with), magazines and newspapers can all make interesting reading for even a young child. You will want to censor what publications you offer, especially with magazines and newspapers that may be intended for older audiences. You can even find great read-aloud videos on YouTube (see my post on Goodnight Moon).

3. Word or letter games and puzzles are a great way to engage her interest in language without risking book boredom. Think - alphabet blocks, word jumbles, refrigerator poetry (see below).

4. This may seem counterintuitive, but now is a great time to introduce books WITHOUT words. There is more than one way of telling a story, and some picture books are written using ONLY pictures. These are a great way to grow your child's story telling abilities and realize that THEY have stories, too!

5. Once your young child realizes the value of telling a good story, encourage her to tell stories orally. These can be real stories - "tell me about your day at pre-K" - or made-up stories - "tell me a story about that squirrel in our tree".

6. Teach her the art of bookmaking. Give her some art materials and let her be the author.

7. Expand the genres on her bookshelf. Now might be a good time to introduce collections of poetry or find some nonfiction books that tie in to her fiction favorites.

8. Help her begin to define her own interests in books, topics and authors. Experiment with themed collections from a certain author or on a certain topic (say, several books in different genres on one topic). Guide her to seeing the connections between these groups of books.

Here are some examples:

A collection of books of different genres on a single topic:

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