It is important to carve out one-on-one time with your child to bond and develop a deeper relationship, and books are a great way to do just that. Reading together will spark new conversations about a variety of topics and help your child foster a love for reading. But what about those times when you're really struggling to find opportunities to read aloud? Here are a few ideas that are particularly useful for those busy occasions.
1. Look for snippets of time in your family routine.
Storytime doesn’t have to happen at bedtime. There are plenty of moments in the day to implement reading like during breakfast or bath time. What's more, there is no rush to finish a book in one sitting. You and your child can enjoy pieces of a book — whether that be a graphic novel or picture book — every day!
2. Take 5 minutes before you start the day.
Start the day off right with five minutes of an extra-special snuggle in bed, plus a short story or a few pages of a chapter book or novel.
3. Share interesting magazine articles or news stories.
Reading these at the dinner table can spark insightful discussions about local or societal issues with older children, allowing you the opportunity to find out what your children think and feel about topics that matter.
4. Take advantage of waiting times.
Carry a book in your handbag or keep a small collection in the car so you can always take advantage of waiting times. You might read to your younger children while waiting to pick up an older child from school or read in the doctor’s waiting room or while waiting for your order at a restaurant.
5. Invite older children to read.
On those days when you simply have to get things done, invite an older brother or sister to read to your younger ones. This fosters a connection between siblings and provides your older child with valuable read-aloud practice.
6. Read as you ride.
While it might not fit the traditional model of reading aloud, playing an oral word game like the Alphabet Game while you're driving to school engages your kids with letters and words.
Directions for the Alphabet Game: Players attempt to each find a word that begins with each letter of the alphabet — in order — on road signs and building signs and more. Once the letter the player is looking for is sighted, he must say the letter and the word. For example, “A in Avenue.” The winner is the first to make it to Z, or the player who makes it furthest through the alphabet by the time you reach your destination!
Adding just one of these ideas to your daily routine will provide a valuable opportunity to connect with your kids through the magic of reading.
Shop fantastic read-aloud books below! You can find all books and activities at The Scholastic Store.
For more quick tips and book recommendations, sign up for our Scholastic Parents newsletter!
You'll also get 10% off your first order at the Scholastic Store Online.