Do you remember the first time you hid under your covers with a flashlight after lights out? That’s how a good book takes the reader on a compelling journey. It’s no doubt that reading gives one incomparable pleasure, but in order to kickstart your little one’s reading journey, selecting the appropriate reading material is vital.
Here are 5 handy tips to build a library that your kid will cherish.
1. Determine if the book is age-appropriate for your child
Pay attention to the age guidelines while choosing. If you’re selecting a book for a toddler, picture books made of sturdy cardboard and erasable plastic titles are great choices. For older kids in the preschool range, they will be able to handle paper pages and lift-the-flap books that will ensure hours of reading fun.
At GoGuru, books are categorised by ages so it makes picking out books for your child a cinch:
2. Consider key takeaways of the book
Ask yourself - what will your child take away from this book? Is this what you want your little one to learn at this juncture?
Books for babies and toddlers focus more on basic concepts, including alphabets, friendship or feelings, as well as phonics, word repetition and other literacy aids to prepare them to read. For older children, take into consideration how a book can help develop vocabulary and comprehension, and the morals and themes they’ll learn.
3. Communicate with your child
While some children might be able to spot gems, they still require your guidance. Prompt them gently without taking over, so they would still feel invested. The key to selecting the appropriate books lies in communication. Get to know your child better and ask them about the subjects that interests them, hobbies they enjoy, heroes they look up to, or previous books they relished in. In the process, share with them a few of your favourite books and read to them aloud during bonding time.
4. Contemplate the subject matter
Ponder about how appealing the subject matter is. Pique your child’s excitement by choosing materials they are interested in. Are they fascinated by superheroes and bored by dinosaurs?
Next, decide if the subject matter is age-appropriate for your little one or if it fits their maturity level. Are they ready to acquire knowledge of concepts such as science, manners, war or sexuality?
As a rule of thumb, younger kids would prefer stories relating to their life experiences. As they grow older, fantasy might take precedence. Be guided by your child’s interests, and inject some creativity in your selections. Is your little one an animal lover? Try a rhyming animal picture book at bedtime, and offer some non-fiction materials for solo reading.
5. Trust your instincts
When in doubt, rely on your gut feeling.
Choose a book and let your kid flip through the first few pages. Often, your little one will be able to tell you if the words are too big or if there is too much text involved. You can also pay heed to your tot’s two or three favourite books and use it as a comparison. Treat it as a guide to sieve out titles that are slightly easier and slightly harder than these favourite titles. If you know your kid has especially enjoyed a particular series, illustrator or author, follow up with another title from the same creator. Opting for award-winners can also help you pick out high quality books.
Singling out a child’s book is akin to a matchmaking process, since not all kids love the same reading materials. Take your time during this trial and error period, for your efforts will surely pay off when you find your little one devouring book after book.