When a reader asked me about reading to active kids I had the answers ready. What a great question, and one I know a lot of parents would like answered. I have a lot of experience with active kids and reading has always been a big part of our day to day.
“I have a question about your experience with books. My son has a VERY difficult time settling into a story and while I’m “reading” tends to be running all over the house. He doesn’t have a huge interest in books or sitting for them. I know the importance of reading to my child, but do you have any advice on reading to a child who is so active they aren’t able to “settle” for book time? Or are there any books that caught your son’s attention that you might recommend? Any advice is welcomed! :)”
I have a lot of experience reading to active kids. Big M is a mover who has always loved to read. (Read about our first steps into independent reading.) Along the way I’ve picked up a few tricks to engage active kids and inspire a love of reading.
- Read while they’re engaged in something else. Don’t wait for “story time” to read. Pick up a book while your busy kid is eating or working on a quiet activity. Big M has heard many stories while building with Legos or pushing a train around a track. You can show the pictures when you finish the page.
- Encourage reading comprehension (and draw your little one into the story) by asking questions while you read. “What do you think will happen next?” “Why do you think she reacted that way?”
- Bring books to life with art activities (like It Looked Like Spilt Milk activity), acting out stories, and storytelling props.
- Read chapter books. A definite plus to chapter books is the amount of description in the text. Kids who are busy jumping rope while they listen can easily visualize the story with out looking at pictures (read more about young kids and chapter books).
- Have a large variety of books. Big M is very interested in nonfiction. He is far more likely to pick up a fact book about volcanoes than a story book. Little M loves anything princess (or pink). A wide variety of books increases the chances that your little one will be drawn to one!
What tips do you have for reading to active kids?
This post originally appeared on June 11, 2012.