storyteller_inside.jpgReading is one of the most important bonding activities parents and children can share. But this experience can be made even better if parents use more engaging reading techniques. Here are some guidelines to make storytelling a more fun learning experience with our children:

1. Sing or rap instead of just reading aloud. You may create your own tune and beat to match the story.

2. Be silly, make jokes. Children laugh when key words are changed in familiar passages, such as “I have three hands, the left and the wrong.”

3. Provide sound effects. Imitate the howling of the wind or the sound of chalk as it writes on the board or the sound of butterfly wings as it glides toward a flower. You and your child can take turns.

4. Invite your child to role-play and offer fun challenges. For example, act out how the mouse in Cinderella felt when the fairy godmother turned it into a horse.

5. Make your audience play author too and encourage children to make up other consequences. One child I read to declared that Pinocchio would lose his voice each time he lied; that he could only get it back if he admitted to his wrong-doing and showed remorse.

Read these articles for more reading tips and suggestions:

(First published in Good Housekeeping Magazine, Family section as "Teacher's Corner" in January-February 2005; photo by oddharmonic via Flickr Creative Commons; adapted for use in Female Network)

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