As I scanned my classroom, I saw children sitting reading a stack of books together. Some children were making words with play dough; others were listening to books being read to them or acting out a story they read. During my time as a first-grade teacher with my Reading Specialist master’s degree, it was my goal to make reading fun for children because I knew if I could do that, I would be giving them one of the greatest gifts I could give anyone. When children love to read, they perform better academically. Here is a list of six ways to make reading fun for your children.
1. Tent Reading
Drape a large blanket over some pillows or the couch to make a quick tent. Then, snuggle up with your child to enjoy reading books together.
Depending on the age of your child, you can incorporate drawing in different ways. For a young child, you can read a story with them and then have them draw their favorite part of the story. For an older child, you can stop in the middle of a story, and ask the child to draw a picture of what they think will happen next.
3. Books Online
Search for your child’s favorite stories online. There are several websites and YouTube videos that have videos of books being read aloud. This is a great way to mix things up. I always suggest previewing the content and sitting next to your child when watching videos online.
4. Play Dough Fun
For younger children, you can select a sight word from this list, and have your child practice reading the word and then make the letters out of play dough. This will make it easier for them to identify common words as they are reading. For older children, they can create the setting, characters, or a face with the feelings of the character from a part of the book they are reading out of play dough.
5. Shared Reading
Select a page from a story, a poem, or passage from a book. Then, model reading the passage a line or sentence at a time using fluency (ideal speed, accuracy, and expression). After you read, your child can repeat the line or sentence by trying to imitate how you read it.
6. Puppet Show
After reading a story, you can have your child retell the story by putting on a puppet show. This can be as simple as setting a blanket on a table for a stage and they get behind to act out the story. Parents feel free to get in on the action to make it more fun and engaging.
How do you make reading fun for your child?
Amy Lu is a Midwest mama from Michigan who enjoys sharing parenting and pregnancy resources with parents of young children on the blog, Making Motherhood Matter.