Sunday, July 5, 2009

Use You Tube to Encourage Reading

YouTube can be a huge boon for parents who want to encourage their kids to read. You can use it to remind your children of some of their old favourite books.

Goodnight Moon

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Brown Bear, Brown Bear

Where the Wild Things Are

Fox in Sox

You can use YouTube to introduce new books. More and more movies are being based on children's literature. If your youngster is a screen kid, maybe he'll read the book AFTER watching the movie. Here are some intriguing movie trailers based on great books.

Where the Wild Things Are

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Horton Hears a Who

Nim's Island

Some companies commission a book series based on the characters or worlds in a movie. I must admit, I've rarely been impressed with this sort of merchandise. They often have great movie shot illustrations and sparkly covers, but lacklustre writing. Still, if it's part of a balanced reading diet, what the heck! A TV or movie tie-in can start kids on the pathway to reading via their love for Transformers or Finding Nemo.

Book Trailers or Previews are often made by authors as a form of book promotion. Sites like
Blazing Trailers focus exclusively on books, and have a children's section, or you can use the search box at YouTube with terms like "children's picture book" to see what comes. I haven't read any of Deb Abela's books yet, but when I saw this trailer, I instantly decided to. Doesn't it look intriguing?

YouTube can also be a good way to learn new rhymes and songs together. Rhymes and songs help kids internalize language, an important step in learning to read.

Five Little Monkeys

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

The Elephant Song

A Pirate Story (last two are great for young kids, both by Eric Herman)

Older kids learning a language can search for known songs in their language of choice, like
Je m'appelle Funny Bear.

Some parents worry about how much screen time their kids get, and rightly so. When we change the passive use of screens to link to reading, though, everybody wins.

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