Photo by Lina Kivaka

Getting kids to be interested and engaged in storytelling is a challenging thing to do. Children like to move around, talk with other kids, and play. So what should we do to get them to listen and have fun simultaneously?

Reading and storytelling will always be crucial to every child’s development. These activities help them have healthier brains and nurture curiosity and understanding. Reading with your child is also a good form of spending quality time because it strengthens your bond.

Children’s stories drive young minds to sharpen their imaginations and make blissful memories. However, most of them are incapable of reading independently, so they need constant encouragement to expand their vocabulary. It will eventually help them as they grow older.

Practical strategies to keep children’s attention going

Here’s the problem: children have a short attention span since they’d rather play and learn on the way instead of sitting still and absorbing everything around them. It takes patience to teach them everything they need to know because they’re at a time when the world is still new.

To encourage their thinking skills and heighten their literacy, you must push them to listen and pay attention to storytime. Here are some strategies you can try:

1 – Storytelling is not just limited to reading.

Literary forms have evolved along with technology. Kids are now tuning in to YouTube for their early education and entertainment. Children can now listen to podcasts, radio shows, and audiobooks. They are effective media forms that enhance your child’s listening comprehension.

These modern-day media talk about random topics and retell folk stories, fairy tales, urban legends, and kid-friendly non-fiction. Ask open-ended questions about the story to help them develop critical thinking.

2 – Don’t give up on your kid if they dislike reading.

They may need to find the right book if they feel that way. Keep on exploring different forms of literature like fiction, poetry, short stories, books about random facts, graphic novels, picture books, etc.

Another case is that they might have a learning disability, so you must also pay attention to that. There are other ways, like reading aloud to them, as long as the kid wants you to.

3 – Comedy is vital.

Rhyming books are great at piquing the interest of kids. They are always on their toes, anticipating the next set. If you’re reading aloud in front of children, don’t be afraid to do strange accents. And to build suspension and narrative momentum, it helps to take dramatic pauses.

Kids love it when they throw a joke or two, so if they make fun of you, don’t take it to heart and laugh along with them.

4 – Set aside reading time.

Make it a habit to read with your child every day, be it during the day when they’re at home or bedtime. If your kids are active and prefer to move around, dedicate at least fifteen minutes daily.

5 – Let the children choose the books they want.

Keep your kids in what they want to read as much as possible. As long as it’s appropriate for their age and level of comprehension, it’s okay for them to choose what they like reading at any given moment. Just be ready for any questions they might have that involve the book they read.

You can only restrict your kids when it’s time to sleep or go to school so they will arrive on time. Other than that, there isn’t any particular issue with them reading as a pastime. Although, you can try analyzing books you want to recommend to them.

Ensure that there are no sexist remarks or morally questionable elements that might not be right for your child to learn about. After all, parents are accountable for the things their children take from their surroundings.

You are responsible for educating them about the limits of what literary media they consume, so they will be aware of what’s offensive and inappropriate for their age. But don’t shame your kid if they have a different preference from yours, since it affects your bond and their perception of the things they like, which they will carry on growing up.

Mona’s Mitten and how it encourages kids to learn and play 

Looking for an excellent book to read catered explicitly to children can be exhausting. There are many options, like the book Mona’s Mitten by author Kristina Orliczky. It talks about a little girl who loves to ski and play and a mouse who’s too busy looking for a house. 

Orliczky tackles the book differently and ironically since it teaches children that they can still be engaged in the story and learn from it while still playing with their peers. Children can try physical activities within the book, which coincide with story time and playing. That way, they still have fun and learn suitable and valuable lessons from the story.

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