Book Central – We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

No doubt you’ve heard the message “read books with your child” and you know reading with children is important but what they don’t tell you is what books to read and how to read them.  Did you know it’s actually these two things – the what and how – that makes the difference to your child’s development?

We know from research that children who are not read to have poorer understanding of language, their vocabularies are smaller and their thinking skills are less advanced.  And this means they go on to have trouble learning to read themselves.  Clearly reading the right books in the right way to your child is critical to their development.

So, to help you out we’re going to answer the what and how of book reading with one fantastic book and our top three tips to make sure the way you’re reading it is improving your child’s listening, talking and thinking skills.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

What’s it about?

This is a story about a father and his four children who all go on a bear hunt together and embark on an exciting adventure. The story sees the family slide down a grassy slope, wade through a river, trudge through mud, to mention a few things until they, finally come to the bear’s cave. The bear then chases them all back to their home. Is this great adventure real or imagined?

The book targets children from the age of four years when they are beginning to recognise rhythm and rhyme and enjoy actively being part of the story telling.   Together, you can explore the plausibility of it being a real or imagined adventure. Asking questions such as ‘Would we really go looking for a bear?’ ‘What could we look for if we went on an adventure together?’.

The descriptive and repetitive language makes this story easy and fun for everyone to participate in.

Our top 3 tips

If you want your child to develop their listening, talking and thinking skills whilst having loads of fun then try these when you’re reading with them:

  1. Choose a time when you and your child are relaxed and can enjoy the story-time together

    Being able to put the time aside to enjoy reading together will let your child know they have your full attention and this in turn will encourage their attention and listening skills.

  2. After the reading the story through once go over it again

    This will encourage your child’s ability to recall details of the story. Without retelling the story word for word, consider asking them to tell you the story, turning the pages as they go along. You can then add information and descriptive words as they tell you their version. Children love being ‘teacher’.

  3. Try using gestures

    Using gestures and facial expressions add interest and excitement to story telling which will encourage your child to develop their listening and participation. Your child will not be able to resist joining in!

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