Congratulations, you’ve completed an important phase of parenting – your kid is potty trained, can catch a ball, sleeps through the night, and doesn’t cry at school drop off.
But you’re worried about the next phase – encouraging good reading habits.
You wonder how to get them to love books (or reading in general). Or maybe you’re thinking about the different activities you can do at your home – that would make the reading experience more interesting and kill the boredom for both of you.
Whether you’re worried about the former or later (or both), I’m sure these five activities will help:
Read Comics Together
It’s no secret that kids love comics. Mostly because they are flashy with great illustrations and colours. Kids are drawn in by the superheroes and different characters that amuse them.
Comics also concern some parents who are worried about the lowbrow connotations. And the solution to this is reading them together with your kids – that way you’ll also know which titles/writer to avoid next.
With this activity, you’ll not only share the joy of reading with your child but also strengthen your bond. Kids love talking to their parents about their favourite moments, characters or scenes.
Ask Your Kid to Read To You
This could be really fun – especially if your child takes those long pauses to read the big words. Chances are, they’ll ask you what a word means, and you’ll tell them how to enunciate it. And that’s the goal of these reading activities – making your child familiar with new words and phrases.
But when they’re reading, don’t interrupt them all the time – especially if they’re too enthusiastic about the next sentence. Keep it balanced; five to six words or discussion per session is enough.
Enact Different Characters & Events From A Book
Do you have a child who loves pretend play? Now is the time to make good use of their interest. Pretend plays are great for their imagination and it also strengthens their thinking, language, social, and emotional skills.
And it can be twice as fun if you include their favourite scenes and characters in these plays and enact them together. For example, if your little one loves superheroes, enact a scene where he is the superhero who’s to fight the villain (it could be you) to save his town.
Another fun activity to do with your kid is solving a reader’s puzzle. You’ll need to do a little homework for this one: clip out an interesting story from a book and cut the paragraphs (or scenes) apart.
Once you have got the clips, mix them all up, and ask your child to read the paragraphs and put them in order. This single activity offers a plethora of learning benefits – critical thinking, storytelling, sequencing, imagination, and creativity.
Invent Your Own Storyline
Children are creative. Ask them how many uses there are for a rubber band, and you’ll get an earful of hilarious, and imaginative ideas.
As a parent, it’s your job to nurture their creativity and imagination. One of the best ways of doing this is by encouraging your kid to read with you and invent their own storyline.
You can ask these question during the reading:
- What can you tell me about the story so far?
- What do you think will happen next?
- What would you have done if you were the character?
- Can you predict how the story will end?
- Why do you assume the character did _______?
- How would you have felt if you were the character?
- As I read____________, it made me picture________ in my head. What pictures do you see in your head?
You don’t have to use them all at once. Ask these questions when they are appropriate. Your goal is to help them see beyond the written words, and these questions can get them thinking.
Does this seem like a big deal? Yes, it can be. But, think of how this little time and patience on your part will benefit your little one. And before you know it, they’ll not only be a great reader but a great thinker too.