Kids love to be read to but it took me a while — and a lot of fumbling around — to discover a great way to read books to my young grandchildren while we are using video chat — Skype, FaceTime, Facebook Portal, or Google Duo.
Here’s the method that’s works for me:
TIP: Don’t hold the book.
Instead, as shown above, lay the book on an ottoman (my favorite way), coffee table, or other table. Then hold the iPad or other device over the book with one hand. Your other hand is used for turning pages during your video chat. Looking on your tablet, you can see at a glance what the kids are seeing. If you lean a bit, even with your device over the book you can see the page itself so you can read the words to the kids.
TIP: Know where the camera is on your device.
Figure out where the camera is and practice holding it over a book. Move it around and up and down and what the screen to see how it changes.
TIP: Sometimes, show the whole page.
If what you’re reading about is the entire page, then as shown below, show the entire page to your grandchild as you’re reading that page.
TIP: Often, zero in on the artwork that shows what you’re reading about.
Book pages often show multiple things going on (photo below), for separate parts of the story. I move the iPad around and often move it closer to the page to capture the artwork for what I’m reading at the time.
I listen to the words I’m saying … and show the part of the layout that applies to that section. In the photo above, at this time I’m only holding the iPad camera over the bottom of the right page because that’s the artwork for the words I was reading right then.
BTW, I also soon realized I did not need to show the printed words on a page while reading books. The little ones want to see pictures! Zeroing in on the artwork makes the book come alive more on their screen.
Practice a bit with your device and a book before you start reading to your grandchild on Skpe or Face Time. But, really, kids are so forgiving of mistakes and awkwardness. You can easily try it out on them and they’ll see you get better and better. Soon they will be asking you to read to them!
Need some tips for putting picture books on reserve at your library? Click here.
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