Water balloons, ice cream for dinner, and video games may be at the top of your children's fun-things-to-do list. But you can give reading an edge by making it a fun activity your kids will want to do — before they're even asked!
Kids deserve reading experiences that resonate with their joyful spirits, and desire to explore and play. These three activities will help.
1. Read Aloud, Read Aloud, Read Aloud
In all of my work helping children become super readers, one persistent theme is the power and fun of the read aloud. It's a simple, yet transformative act that brings families together and helps kids learn thoughtfully.
Make the read aloud a daily experience for your kids, and use best practices to keep them engaged. Before even opening the book, look at the cover and make predictions together on what the book is about. As you read, stop to ask your child questions about the text, and make sure you’re "reading" the illustrations closely too. Take time to peruse them, admire them, and enjoy them. Read with enthusiasm and expression by making silly voices, faces, and gestures to bring the text to life. Don’t be shy — the more dramatic the better!
Also remember that reading aloud is for kids of ALL ages. So, start early and don’t stop!
2. Incorporate Art
Setting up an art station during read-aloud time is just one way to combine reading and writing with creative expression through art. Bring out the crayons, colored pencils, construction paper and all varieties of art supplies, and have your child design her own cover for a book she loves!
Or, extend the art of picture books by purchasing materials that are just like the ones used by the author. For example, if you are reading Eric Carle, make collages together inspired by his paintings. If your child is reading Captain Underpants, buy some cool mechanical pencils and do some cartoons together. Who doesn’t love craft time?
3. Use New Kinds of Reading Sources
Beyond the traditional read aloud, find stories can come from a variety of sources, including poems, oral tales, and wordless books! Technology can also be a great outlet with entertaining reading apps such as Storia, News-o-Matic, and Reading Rainbow. Think outside of the box when it comes to reading, and watch your child light up with excitement.
Making reading fun fosters a love of reading, and captivating our kids with great stories is where true magic lies.
Find more tips to cultivate a confident reader in my previous super reader posts.
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