The holiday season is in full swing, and people are getting excited for gift giving, getting together with family and friends, and school break! For most kids this means the school-related reading that is a part of their daily life also takes a break, but it also creates more opportunities for fun family reading time!
Reading with your kids - not just during the holiday but any day - benefits their development and creates family moments and traditions you will all cherish for years to come.
Share your Favorite Books
Think back to when you were young; what were your favorite books? Share these treasures with the whole family, and ask your kids what their favorite stories are as well! If a book feels slightly advanced for your child, you can read it aloud and answer questions as you go. Be sure to stop and ask them questions to make sure they understand the story and to spark their imaginations!
As you read together, stop and ask questions like: who's the main character?, why did [this character] do [this action], and what do you think will happen next? Be patient, and if you sense your child is losing interest or is too distracted, take a break and do something else so your kids associate family reading as fun (and different from school)!
Get Extended Family Involved
Aunts, uncles, and grandparents - especially those who live far away - can never get enough of your little ones!
Take advantage of this holiday time together and ask your young reader show off their reading skills. Encourage your child to read aloud one of their favorite books to visiting family members, but make sure that it's one your kid has already read a few times so they feel confident (plus, repetition enhances reading skills). This is a fun reading activity every generation can enjoy!
Family Reading is Fun for All Ages
Your child is never too young to enjoy a good story. Even when children are too young to "understand" what you're reading, listening helps develop language skills, and more importantly they enjoy it and will usually sit with rapt attention and ask for more!
Think of words like food for their brain. Reading aloud to children as young as infants is good for their developing brain, promotes curiosity, and keep them happy and engaged. Babies learn through imitation, so the more they see you reading, the more interested they will be in reading themselves as they get older!
Pair Reading with Activities
Think of activities that go well with the stories you're reading. Reading about animals? Take the kids to zoo and find the animals you are learning about!
Read a book and draw pictures about the story. It can be fun to have you and your child each draw a picture of a main character and then compare them to see how they are the same and/or different! Nature walks, petting zoos, and museums are also great places to apply things kids learn in books to real life.
What are some of your fun family reading traditions? What are some of your favorite stories to read aloud as a family? Share in the comments!