Ever find yourself reading the same story to your child time after time? Young children love repetition, and it’s great for their development in literacy and as readers. However, along the way, while they’re learning to read, you can do even more. Encourage their imagination. Help them develop critical thinking skills. And of course, enjoy that same old story in a new way that will keep you from yawning. If you’ve run out of ideas for how to make reading stories fun, try one of these quick and easy ways to add excitement to your usual reading routine:
Act It Out
You can act it out literally. Choose characters and find some hats or other props to get into character and roll with it. Or, you can get your creative juices flowing and make some simple puppets. A piece of paper with a stick will do just fine. Draw the characters and then try to remember the story line, acting it out along the way. This is great for practicing reading comprehension and remembering key details.
You don’t have to invite the neighborhood over, simply play pretend. Imagine your child’s favorite character in the book is going to have a birthday, and ask your child to imagine what she would take them as a gift. Then, she can either draw it or pick out the gift from among her toys, prepare it and explain why she would give this gift. Helpful for drawing conclusions about who the character is and what they’re like, it also includes an element of creation as your child must come up with something new, on her own. Then, you yourself can either pretend to be the character or at least draw the character on a piece of paper. Have your child pretend to give the gift to the character and imagine what they would say.
Who, When, Where, How?
A mystery game provides the opportunity to remember key details from the story. Pretend you’re a reporter or a detective and ask your child about the events in the story. Get out a stick to act as your microphone and conduct the interview. Then, allow your child to be the interviewer and ask the questions.
These activities can be done with stories you read to your child, or books your child can read on her own. How do you have fun while learning to read?