Why Reading With Grandparents is Special for Kids
One of the most rewarding activities for a grandparent and a grandchild is reading a book together. To celebrate Grandparent's Day, here are some thoughts on why story time is extra special when grandparents read to the kids.
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Grandparents are an important part of the growth and development of their grandchildren: they provide comfort and stability through contact and support; they bring their unique knowledge and experience to family interactions; they are a source of new insight and adventure during playtime and activities.
Grandparents often have diverse roles in the family: some are caregivers; others host a weekly family meal; some have careers, volunteer in the community, or run marathons.
Time spent with grandparents is often precious, especially if they are not present on a daily basis or do not live nearby. One of the ways grandparents and grand kids can make the most of their time together is with reading and story telling.
Reading with grandparents
Grandparents often bring a wealth of information and experience to kids. This can help increase kids' knowledge of their environment and support early language skills. Grandparents may be able to tell stories from their own day to day interactions, or listen to kids relay tales of school or home.
Grandparents can read books from a child's own collection or bring books to share reading times with kids. The books grandparents bring will stir interest when introduced to the setting, and can be new or familiar stories.
Books add pictures and text to story telling, as well as hands-on interaction by drawing attention to details in an illustration or words in the title or text.
Here are a few thoughts on why reading times are special with grandparents.
Why reading is special with grandparents
Grandparents aren't around all the time.
Reading with grandparents is often a break from the normal routine. Unless they are primary caregivers, grandparents have more limited time with the grandchildren. Spending it with valuable activities like reading benefits early language and literacy skills.
Grandparents' voices might be familiar, especially if you converse by phone or with face time. But if they are not heard reading story books regularly they can add a unique and interesting tone to a favorite story.
Visits with grandparents can be a welcome break for busy parents and caregivers. The role grandparents play may differ from one household to another, but the interactions they provide are a valuable resource for the family.
Grandparents make kids feel important.
Kids benefit from the caring attention they receive during one-on-one time spent reading with a grandparent. Grandparents not only express interest in a book a grandchild chooses to read, but they are ready to listen when kids tell their own stories of things that happened in school or things they saw at the park.
Grandparents can be a comforting outlet for kids emotions.
Grandparents make reading fun.
Grandparents are generally as excited as the grand-kids to have opportunities to read together. They'll use silly voices and funny facial expressions to convey emotion or action.
They often like to plan special activities around reading, like taking the grandkids to the library, or giving them books as gifts for birthdays and holidays. They play board games and card games together that require reading instructions. They sometimes even pretend to need help following instructions. Kids love to teach Grampy how to play a game!
Grandparents share their own stories.
Grandparents bring their unique experiences to story time. They are able to compare activities or events in a story to how they did things when they were kids. They might read a favorite or traditional story that they remember reading to the grandchild's parent when he or she was a child.
Grandparents often have songs and stories they can relate without a book, especially a lullaby they can sing to a child at bedtime. Learning the lyrics of a verse or chorus can be a fun shared experience between the generations.
Regardless of age or circumstance, or whether they call themselves Grandma and Gramps, or Nana and Papa, they are grandparents to the little ones who love them. One of the special activities they can do with kids is read books together.
Every day with grandparents can be a celebration, and story time is one way to celebrate.