If you don't sound and seem interested in a book, how can you expect a baby or toddler to be interested?
While this tip comes easily to those who are comfortable with little kids, I know it can be awkward (to say the least) for those who are not.
Here's my best advice for "reading enthusiastically" during a read aloud session.
- Read the book a few times to yourself prior to reading it to your child. There's nothing worse than listening to an adult stumbling over the words in a book.
- Find your inner actor or actress while reading - try to "become" each character as much as possible (hint: this may involve creating different voices for each character).
- Try portray the mood with your voice.
- Read according to the "rhythm" of the book. Some books are very sing-songy (like Dr Seuss books), so make them that way.
- Make eye contact with your child.
- Read with a monotone voice. It's a children's book, not a computer textbook.
- Act disinterested in the story. Smile!
- Be shy. It's OK to look and act silly. That's what kids like! And that's also why they'll want to read the book 900 times in a row - because you made it fun.
- Be afraid to experiment with different voices while you read. Emphasize various words.
- Forget to pay attention to the punctuation. If there is a exclamation point, say the words with GUSTO!
For your added enjoyment, below is a video demonstrating how I "read enthusiastically" and put a little "life" into a story. I hope you find it helpful. I *attempted* to illustrate a few of my Do's and Dont's.