Raising a reader: Make reading fun!
By Michael on July 6th, 2012
Storytime in The Scholastic Store is meant to be an experience. I’ve been reading on and off Tuesday-Thursday at 11am for almost 10 years now. It’s always the most fun when the kids laugh, help to read along, yell answers and even sing. Basically, we can get LOUD!
When I started to read to my daughter, I mimicked that energy level in my living room. I wanted her to know that reading was an event and lots of family fun. (I should note that my husband did remind me that our living room is smaller than the store and I didn’t need to be quite as loud. I’m not sure I have quite accomplished this.) Here are a few tips for making sure storytime is a reading party!
- Make it a family activity. The more voices, the better! Parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters and pets are all welcome at a family storytime! Find a way to incorporate participants into the story. For example, even Bruno, the family dog, gets to participate when we read Peanut, though I am not sure he appreciates standing in for an elephant.
- Take the best of cartoons into your storytime! Those funny voices, silly sounds and BIG facial expressions can make your storytime all the more successful. When I read Book! Book! Book!, my Hen is a high-pitched, attention getting and sure to get giggles from Lydia every time!
- Bring the pages to life! Make a fairy wand to read Alice the Fairy. Stomp on the ground during the repeated lines of Dinosaurumpus. When the chimps do a Cha-Cha in Giraffes Can’t Dance, pull out your dancing shoes! It can even be as simple as having everyone get into a ‘boat’ (a rug or mat you’ve put down) to sail to Where the Wild Things Are.
- Finally and very importantly, let kids pick the books! Even if you whittle the selection down to a few and ask them which to read first, kids will be all the more interested in reading when they’ve made the choice!
I’ve touched on a few tricks to making storytime the most fun it can be but would love to hear more of your suggestions!