There are so many fun activities that we can do with our children to get them excited about books and the world of reading. When kids are having fun, it is so much easier to draw them into something – like the wonderful world of literature. The very best thing we can do is to guide and direct them to enjoy it for themselves. When we are intrinsically motivated to do something, it is a much more lasting motivation. This will form an awesome foundation for their whole school careers.
A fun way to really dig into a story is to read it with your child and when you are done, ask your child their favorite part of the story. Then have them draw a picture of that part. When they are done, ask them for a short explanation of their picture and that part in the story. And either have them dictate to you and you write it on the bottom of their picture or let them write it if they can.
Another fun way to really engage your child in the books you are reading with them is to play a guessing game. Each time you turn the page of the book, look at the pictures with your child and have them guess what they think might be going on at this point in the story. It can be exciting to see if they got it right, because, sometimes they might get it so wrong that it turns the book into a super silly story. And what is more fun than the giggles?
An activity that will help with reading and make your little one feel a bit more grown up is helping you cook from a cookbook. You can explain to your child that it is important to put the ingredients in and follow the instructions in the recipe in order. Then you let your child be in charge of reading the recipe to you as you make the dish. You will, of course, give them any help they need. But they can also read the labels on the ingredients that you are using. For instance, they can help you differentiate between baking powder and baking soda and make sure you get the right one. Perhaps you might even let them fix your ‘mistake’ when you pick up the wrong one. He will feel so smart and helpful.
When you can get a child excited about things – making pictures, funny games that maybe lead to silly stories, helping in the kitchen and feeling like a big kid – you help to raise their confidence and also their motivation to really enjoy books and reading. Getting creative and changing things up can inspire children to get reading!