Author Adrian Beck ‘s FIVE TIPS FOR READING ALOUD
With many of us spending extra time at home these days, the challenge to keep the kids occupied is more difficult than ever! Personally, I’ve tried music lessons, baking, a daddy makeover, gardening, stop motion animation, trampoline gymnastics and a particularly unsuccessful daddy/daughter yoga session.
But one simple activity is just as effective as ever – reading aloud. This isn’t merely a great way to pass the time, but it can be a calming experience to share with your kids, especially in these strange days.
Here are my top five tips for great read alouds:
- FIND A COMFY SPOT
Don’t just perch on the edge of the kitchen bench between zoom meetings. Make it special – grab the beanbag, or fling a blanket over you and the kids on the couch. Extra points for building a reading fort.
- MAKE READING A REWARD
Don’t put it in the schedule as another thing to mark off the to-do list. Use reading together as a reward if the kids finish a chore or remember their manners or actually brush their hair without being nagged (just once!).
- LET THE KIDS CHOOSE
If you want your kids to enjoy reading aloud you have to let them choose the books. It’s perfectly fine to introduce them to your favourite childhood classics, but don’t insist they read something they’re just not into.
- READ LIKE NO ONE (YOUR AGE) IS LISTENING
I pretend I’m a character in a Pixar movie. Finally, my big break! Try silly voices and throw yourself into the performance. Sure, you may not win an Oscar, but a little showmanship really draws the kids into the story.
- MAKE IT MATTER
When you sit down to read with your kids, you need to make the story the most important thing in the world! Ignore your phone. Turn off the radio. Focus! Keep the kids on the edge of their seat by pausing to ask them questions. What do you think will happen next? What would you do if you were the hero of this story? Why do you have such a bony bum?
With all of life’s distractions it can be easy to forget the importance of reading aloud. However, if you get your kids to think of reading as a fun-filled, bonding experience, then you will set them up to be readers for life. So start building that reading fort, ASAP!
Adrian Beck writes funny, action-packed books for kids. His latest series is “Derek Dool Supercool” about a kid who will do anything to impress his classmates. Perfect for ages 7+.