5 Easy Ways to Spice Things Up
We all know how important reading aloud with our kids is, but honestly some days I don’t feel like doing it. Can you relate?
When I worked as a first grade teacher, read aloud time was my favorite time of the day. I loved watching the kids’ faces as they gasped at moments of intrigue and giggled at the silly parts. There’s honestly nothing better.
I assumed when I became a mom that I’d feel like reading aloud all the time. But to be honest, so far it’s been more of a discipline than a joy.
I finally realized that, in addition to lack of inspiring content: ‘bird, cow, dog’… (not exactly riveting), it was a lack of back-and-forth between me and my daughter that was missing.
Reading time should be a meaningful exchange, at any age.
I’ve started incorporating a few strategies to keep my daughter (and me) engaged in reading time and it’s really helped!
Here are 5 things to try:
1.Put your kid’s name in the story.
For instance, we have a book called All of Baby Nose to Toes. The book reads:
“Baby’s got a nose, a neat little nose. Wrinkles when it goes nose… Who love’s baby’s nose? Me, I do!” (And then of course it repeats a similar pattern with eyes, tummy, etc…)
I got really bored of this book, but I knew it was good for her. So, I started putting my daughter’s name in it.My daughter loves when I do this!
You can try it too. Say your kid’s name is Charlotte:
“Charlotte’s got a nose, a neat little nose. Wrinkles when it goes nose… Who love’s Charlotte’s nose? Me, I do!”
Many books, particularly for young children, engage in rhyme scheme and a ‘sing-songy’ rhythm. Regardless of whether you enjoy this personally, try to read along with a sense of rhythm. Not only will your child engage more, but they are more likely to make predictions or memorize the next words in the book, when it feels more like a song.
3.Make it Up!
Still find yourself feeling bored? Try making up content. Unless the kid has memorized the book, they won’t notice! I LOL at myself when I come up with different endings or things for the characters to say! It’s really quite entertaining.
If your kid is young enough not to notice, skip pages that are too lengthy, boring or annoying! Enjoy the rest of the book together.
5.Stop Reading Boring Books!
Not all books are created equal. There are some terrible kids books out there. Don’t waste your time when there’s awesome books waiting for you! Also keep in mind that if you don’t like a book, give it away!
Don’t know where to start?
- For babies and toddlers, look for books with textures, light amounts of text, things to smell and pop-out windows (and be prepared for those windows to be torn!)
- For Ages 4–7, google: ‘Caldecott winners children’s books’. This prestigious award signals the sign of a seriously awesome picture book.
- For children 7 and up, google: ‘Newberry award winners children’s literature.’ Keep in mind, the older the child, the more engaging the characters should be. Don’t miss this opportunity! Choose books with characters who display courage, obedience and any other traits you want to instill in your child.
Got a favorite book? Share below.
(And don’t forget to post or tweet this post to your mom friends! 🙂