Storytime with my eldest has always been about the story; even as a baby he sat and listened to a book. Veronika has been a delightful reminder of just how different all babies are, because she looks at a book and she wants… to eat it.
I still read to her every night, but I have to catch her attention! So today we played this little game, varying my voice in ways that made her sit up and focus a little more.
First, I did a silly read through of Goodnight Moon, reading the first half veryveryveryfast and the second half very…very…very…slow. This got looks of surprise and giggles!
Next I read a favorite color book, but sang the words to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. This didn’t line up quite right on every page, but she kept looking at me with interest. I sure had her attention!
Finally, I read in a deep, silly voice for another favorite book; this got lots of looks of delight after every page, almost as if she was checking to make sure it was still me doing the reading.
This game will work best with books you read often, where baby is already familiar with the rhymes and rhythms and will notice the differences.
Choose books that lend themselves to getting in on the action, too. When the quiet old lady whispers hush, I put my fingers to her lips. Other good actions to copy include: tickling toes, giving hugs and kisses, or waving hello and goodbye.
One final way to vary your story time? Vary the location! We took our books to a coffee shop today, where the novel space made her pay more attention to sounds on the pages, and less attention to their taste.