Working as a facilitator on the Alberta Prairie Classroom on Wheels Bus (the C.O.W. Bus) I often hear questions about the different types of books and how to get children interested in reading. There are a lot of different responses that I can give to this question.
There are interactive books that are great for catching and keeping the interest of a child (see Kim’s previous post on Press Here by Hervé Tullet), “touch and feel” books that provide a multitude of textures that entertain kids, especially young kids, and “seek and find” books like I-Spy and Where’s Waldo that can hold a child’s interest for hours while they try to find all the different items listed and as well as the other items unlisted. Truth be told, they still entertain me for hours.
However, my favorite response is to make the books personal. Create a story featuring your child. You can use photos of your child as the illustrations and create a story around the pictures. It can be as simple as linking colors to outfits (insert photo) or as complex as a novel. Creating a personal story can also be a great way to spend time, and to interact with your children. Involve them in the process – have them pick out the pictures they want to use or have them create the story and you write it down. Small photo albums work perfectly for holding the photos as well as cue cards to write the story on.
One mom shared a great idea she uses for personalizing a story. She used her children’s photos and pasted them over the existing faces in the book. Her children instantly became part of their favorite stories and will have fantastic keepsakes for when they grow up. She found that board books worked better due to their durability.