One of the things I enjoy doing with my children is reading books with them. This activity fosters good bonding moments as well as further cultivates a child’s love for reading! This ‘cultivation’ probably holds more value for any child that requires more encouragement to read independently.
As with the old saying, every child is created differently and in their own unique ways! This, I believe from my own personal experiences, also applies to the degree in which a child loves reading! The trait of loving to read is observed to be more pronounced in my older child based on her displays of enjoying to read either independently or sharing reading moments with others in the family. My younger child however prefers sharing reading moments; especially with her mummy!
The selection of books for my younger child is critical as it determines the duration of her concentration level through a reading session. Through her, I learnt that doing story-related activities with her is a more appropriate way of fully ‘maximizing’ her concentration duration. I am now thus able to better appreciate that she enjoys reading in a different way and thereby creating fun memories through reading as well!
Given the wide variety of available books in the neighbourhood library that we usually go to, I find that having my children make their own selection of books there is also a way of getting them interested in reading. Given their tender age, it is natural that they still do not enjoy full autonomy of the books that they select. Mummy still does the initial and final shortlisting of the books.
Among the many books that we borrowed, my younger child was most attracted to this particular Chinese storybook titled ‘Ma Yi Chu Fa’ – (Journey of Ants). As she is most attracted to this storybook, I decided to take this simple storybook and do some story-related activities with her.
This storybook tells about a few ants going on a bus ride and through their bus ride on these animals, these ants encountered and discovered several animals.
The ants’ bus ride started on a bumpy note as they drove through the scaly back of the crocodile followed by the ‘mountainous regions’ of the camel humps! After navigating through the ‘mountains’, the ants continued their bus journey into the ‘forested’ region of the lion’s mane! Just before settling down for their meal break, they enjoyed a long steep slope down the trunk of the elephant before realizing that they had ventured into a zoo! As much as they wanted to enjoy their meal break, they had to speed off when they realized that an anteater was on their backs!
As a precursor to the story-related activity, we read through this storybook several times. In fact, this storybook will be her first choice each time she wanted to read.
After getting to know the Chinese names of the different animals, I did some Chinese word cards for her to pick up and match to the pictures as we read through the storybook. In addition to these word cards, I took some animal figurines and we retold the story with these two set of items. Occasionally, we would also look out for live ants and I would ask her to tell me the Chinese name of it.
I ‘DIY-ed’ a dice with the pictures of the animals which allows her to roll and pick up the corresponding word card. (Note: I have used Velcro to stick the cards to the DIY dice so that I have the flexibility of having the word cards on the dice instead.) As much as possible, I do also create my activities using resources that I already have, can be reused as well as making sure that they are easily portable!
We have had lots of fun with this simple storybook and the few simple story-related activities. She is now able to tell the name of the animals in Mandarin and recognise most of the Chinese word cards that were prepared! Although not perfect, she is also able to read this storybook independently!
Content Source: Mummy Jocelyn
Edited By: Preschool Resources
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Preschool Resources.