We all know that there are a lot of beautiful children’s books out there. But let’s face it, you can only read the Hungry Caterpillar so many times!
Even I have noticed that my little one has started to get bored with the same stories, but I have come up with ways to make things a little bit more interesting.
1. Be an actor. If you are not already doing this…. Make voices and intonations, different accents help too. Surprise your little one by getting out your inner actor. For example, if I read the Millie book to my baby I pretend the Rabbit on the Moon is Spanish and that Kliff and Kloff are ‘chilangos’. When I read ‘Wombat stew’ I lisp as the lizard talks and I pretend to be a posh lady when Emu is telling Dingo how to improve his stew. You might feel silly at the beginning but hey, your baby won’t judge you for your non Oscar performance!
2. Ask them to tell you the story. If they are old enough and they are talking, you can ask them to tell you the story based on the pictures. Relax and enjoy! If they are younger though, you may be able to point and ask ‘what is this?’ so they can tell you. Another option is to ask ‘where is the elephant?’ Or ‘where is the house?’. You will be surprised at how much they know!
3. Don’t read the story. Focus on other things in the pictures, name the items and relate them to your life. For example, if the caterpillar ate one apple, say how much your little one loves apples or if they are older, what is their favourite colour of apple?
4. Join your local library. We are spoilt in Australia on this one. However, if you live elsewhere Google will tell you if there are any libraries near you. Nowadays, local libraries have a lot of programs for kids and you and your family will enjoy more variety without going through the expense of buying new books. Alternatively, you can swap books with friends or buy them second hand at a local market or on Amazon.
5. Use books in a different way. This one is not so much about reading but about playing with books. You can stack them, sort them, build a ‘bridge’ for your baby to walk over them as an obstacle course. The idea here is to let your kids know books can be fun.