Reading Stories Aloud
A love for reading is acquired at a young age and, as many parents will tell you, it's not for lack of books that children begin to find other activities more stimulating, but rather the importance that's placed on story time and reading together by family members and (later on) educators. In order to encourage parents to making reading an essential part of their child's routine, Mem Fox, an award-winning children's author, has developed the "Ten Read-Aloud Commandments".
In addition to making it an intentional part of your child's daily routine, Mem suggests the following guidelines: spending at least ten minutes doing the activity or reading at least three stories, whichever is shortest. Because, while it is an important exercise, it may take time for children who have seen it as unimportant to respond and engage during reading and, if this is the case, you certainly don't want to force them into a prolonged story time.
Mem also suggests reading with animation. This might make some parents and educators feel silly or even embarrassed, but bringing the characters to life with different voices, reading rhymes in in a sing-song voice, or improvising by asking questions about pictures or connecting character emotions with real emotions helps children to remember the story and make real-life associations.
Reading aloud to your child is important! Be sure to read the rest of Mem's commandments for help incorporating story time in your daily routine!