Whether you are reading To Kill a Mockingbird or Where the Wild Things Are, settling in with a great book is one of life’s simple pleasures. However, children are not always ready to “settle in” when reading time arrives. If your little one is less than cooperative, try one of these ideas to keep reading time fun.
Involve Them – Children’s attention can drift. Asking questions about the story helps keep them focused. How many teeth do you see in Charlie the Cross-Eyed Crocodile’s mouth? What do think Willy Nilly & Thumper are eating for dinner?
Include Activity – If your children have a hard time settling down for reading time, suggest they build Mount Methuselah with blocks or color a picture of the treasure Willy Nilly & Thumper find in the cave while listening to you read. Kids can listen and create at the same time!
Engage Imagination – Physically acting out parts of the book will help keep children engaged. When Willy Nilly & Thumper outrun the mudslide racing down Mount Methuselah, suggest your child run across the room, pretending they are alongside the book characters. Or ask them to paddle the canoe with all their might while escaping Charlie the Cross-Eyed Crocodile.
Add to the Story – Ask your child to make sound effects to accompany your reading – jungle animal sounds as Willy Nilly & Thumper paddle down the river, feet stomping as they run away from Charlie, the croc’s moans after he falls from the tree. Kids can even sing a happy tune at the end of the book when everything turns out OK.
Teaching your children that reading is a fun activity and part of everyday life is important. Having fun yourself is a bonus. Connect, explore and have fun with your kids. And make reading part of the fun!