More Story Time, Less Screen Time For Your Preschooler: 5 Cool Ways To Add Reading To Your Weekly Routine
By:     -   November 14, 2017   -   Education  -  Parenting  -  Relationships   -   0 Comments   -   1396 Views


Submitted By: Dr. Jobia Keys, Author of Grand Angel

On a daily basis, I see preschool-aged children in senseless trances as they stare at their tablets in homes, restaurants, shopping carts and everywhere else. Advances in digital technologies and lower prices of tablets have allowed for more children to have access to their own tablets. Almost every child I know, from all races and socio-economic backgrounds have access to a tablet. While many parents have taken the initiative to ensure that their children only have access to educational games, they neglect to put a limit on their screen time. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ages 2 to 5 be limited to 1 to 2 hours of screen time per day. This includes TV shows, games, apps, websites, and streaming videos.

One thing parents can do to avoid too much screen time is to replace the television and devices with books. There are so many ways that books can benefit preschoolers, including but not limited to: helping them build basic speech skills, increasing their aptitude for general learning, enhancing their concentration and memory retention, helping them become more logical thinkers, and strengthening the relationship with their parents.

Incorporating reading into your weekly schedules doesn’t have to be difficult or boring! Here are 5 cool ways you can add books to your weekly routine:

Have the child read a book to the parents.

Preschool aged children tend to like routines, and often have a favorite book they love to have read to them. Try switching it up and have the child read to the parent! During the preschool stage, most children are learning sight words and can probably recognize some of the words in the book. This activity gives parents an opportunity to be good listeners, assess their children’s reading skills and help them along the way as they read.

Fantasy time! Make up a story.

One of the most precious gifts that children have is their vivid imaginations. Motivate children to be as creative as they want to be and tell the parents a story. Parents can even record them telling the story and listen to it again or send it to a family member. Let them direct the way and enjoy the ride!

Be the Author and Illustrator, and make a book.

Children can write their own book and illustrate it. Have them cut colored construction paper in half, use a hole puncher and punch three holes on edge, and tie the sheets of paper together with strings. They can create their own characters in their own way. With this activity, children get to show off their imagination and crafting skills! The finished products also make great gifts for family members!

Get Theatrical.

Most preschool-aged children love to play dress-up. Parents can even join in on the fun and dress up too! Encourage children to act out their favorite stories.

Allow the children to choose costumes and props and direct the production. Parents can assemble a small audience. This fun activity encourages leadership skills, and helps children become comfortable communicating with others.

Cut up!

Children can take old magazines and cut out their favorite images. Children should choose various images (foods, people, airplanes, grass, etc…) so they can create diverse, fun stories. Once children have the images cut, they can glue the images to a poster board, and use the images to tell their stories to parents.

In addition to parents reading to children, these five ideas can help cut down on the screen time and increase imaginative learning, creativity, reading and communication skills.