We are a household of readers. We enjoy books; in fact, we have a pretty impressive collection of many genres that adorn shelves, baskets, magazine holders, totes and boxes around our house. I married a reader whose collection of series of novels would rival some of the local smaller libraries. We read to our kids before they were born. Storytime is a pivotal part of their bedtime routine and has been since our oldest came home from the hospital.
We visit bookstores, book sales, libraries (let’s end our local library strike!!!) as a family, and we always are able to find something new to enjoy. And we ALWAYS make time for reading.
We’ve made an outdoor reading nook, Baby Bird has a little castle tent in her room that she’s converted to her ‘reading area’ (she’s 2), we make pillow forts for sharing books inside. And we never say no to reading to our kids. Never.
It doesn’t matter what’s happening, (save for mealtimes and the middle of the night) if someone asks to be read to, we will oblige. We make sure that one of us is available at all times from after school until bedtime. Nothing connects us as a family more than sharing in a good book with each other. I’m already dreading the day that they will want to read their own books to themselves, by themselves.
I’ve been asked so many times how we incorporate reading into everyday life with kids, outside of a formal story/reading time. I initially didn’t have a response since it’s just kind of how we live but once I actually thought about it, we kind of do reading things all the time! Here are but a few!
When we go out, we are reading. We play word games to pass the time at restaurants with menus (who can find the word ‘eggs’ first? Who can see an uppercase J? Et cetera). We spell words using Cheerios, sugar packets, crayons on the backs of kids menus, whatever we can get our hands on.
We compare prices on signs in stores, we read street signs, we have scavenger hunts during walks or shopping trips. We make reading a game, almost always.
While waiting at the dentist or doctor’s office, we write messages to each other on paper or the iPad. We search for sight words in magazines. We do MadLibs. We LOVE MadLibs!
When we go grocery shopping with the kids, the asking for frivolous things is brought to a minimum by only allowing things on the list we make to be purchased. If they want something, they need to put it on the list before we leave the house.
We read books with silly words, books that use words like ‘fart’ and ‘stupid’. Always a big hit!
Little boys love their potty humour! Haha!
Now that our oldest is 5, he’s a pretty great reader. He loves reading to his sisters and will drop everything if they ask for a story. It’s one of those things that make a Momma swoon. I can only hope this continues. He’s already asked if he can be the one to read his sisters their bedtime stories now. Absolutely, buddy!
Reading is, quite literally, everywhere. It is engrained in our world. For some, reading is a daunting task but if you turn anything into a game, even struggling readers will be more interested! We have tested out some amazing apps that showcase reading at different levels and they can be an incredible tool also! The Endless Reader app, for example, taught our oldest, then 2, to read all of his basic sight words! We were amazed! You never know what you might find!
Let me know in the comments how you use simple fun activities to incorporate reading into your lives. I love to hear new fun ideas to try with our troupe!