Recipe For Making Reading Fun



Combine 3 cups of  real books with 2 cups of reading.

Add 4 to 5 new authors and a few teaspoons of old favorites.

Stir slowly and blend in (with feeling) 20 minutes of reading aloud every night.

Set aside a batch of audio books for those rainy days and long car drives.

Sprinkle with homemade books from digital or traditional photos.

Savor the new ways that reading real books can be fun.

Combine 3 Cups of Real Books With 2 Cups of Reading .Reading is important because books expose us to those ‘rare’ words and ideas not likely to be found in our day-to-day conversations or through screen time (e.g., tv., videos, computer games, etc.). That’s why it’s important to work our children’s reading muscle, by cooking up new ways to combine reading and fun!

Add 4 to 5 New Authors and a Teaspoon of Old FavoritesYoung children love the familiar rhyme and rhythm of their own books. Read and reread favorite books. Have you discovered Dori Chiconas’ rhymed books for preschoolers? At the same time, take advantage of  libraries and book stores to explore new authors. Read books to your child that are written slightly higher than their age level. For example, many 4 – 7 year old children who have not yet learned to read might enjoy listening to E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web and The Trumpet of the Swan or Jean Craighead George’s Julie and the Wolves series. They are hearing new words and developing listening skills all at the same time.

School-age children like to be read to as well, from books that tap their interests and spark their curiosity.  Remember reading aloud to children gives them opportunities to practice listening and paying attention, important skills for school success.

And make sure your children see you read your favorite new and old authors. Childrens’ ideas and values about reading begin to form early as they observe the important people in their lives!

Stir Slowly and Blend In (with feeling) 20 Minutes of Reading Aloud Every Night. When we read to our pre-school age children, we teach them that English print moves from left to right, that letters have names and are distinct from numbers and pictures. It turns out that children have an easier time learning to read when they arrive at school with this kind of basic book and print knowledge. Furthermore, when we read to our children, and then talk together about what was read, we are fostering in them, important thinking, problem-solving, and vocabulary skills.

Older children enjoy being read to as well, especially those who struggle with reading in school. For these children, parents can do the lion’s share of reading aloud so that reluctant readers get to experience the joy of great stories and great literature. Whatever our child’s age or reading ability, the ritual of reading aloud every night not only deepens our relationships, it carves out a clear message that reading is an important family value.

Set Aside a Batch of Audio Books for Those Rainy Days and Long Car DrivesAudio books can be enjoyed by the whole family –and at the same time. Our Cape Cod libraries and bookstores where are full of great audio books the whole family can enjoy. Listening to books on those rainy days or during long car rides is ‘live language’ that ‘sticks’ to children in ways that television and videos do not. Audio books are fun because they stimulate conversation, come with sound effects and the voice of a trained actor that adds to the mood and richness of the story or documentary.

Sprinkle with homemade books made out of digital or traditional photosDigital camera discs or traditional film can be developed quickly into pictures. Paste the pictures on paper to create personal  story books. This is especially fun for kids on vacation or school field trips because the books can preserve the memories of their experience long after the event ends. Designing ‘home-made’ books by adding words and sentences to photographs taps children’s creativity, empowers budding young writers, and creates a personal memento.

Savor the new ways that reading can be fun ! When it comes to savoring fun, kids are the experts – by far. That’s why I paid a visit to a class of  twenty-two third-graders. They gave me their best advice for making reading fun. Pass this poem on to your children to read – or better yet – read it to together!


 Read in a hammock in a tent or a tree.

Read on a float with a friend at the sea.

Read in a bean chair, read to your cat.

Act out a story with a very silly hat.

Read for a contest. Read to your dog.

Take turns reading with a friend on a log.

Read with silly voices. Make them high and low.

Read in the car when the family’s on the go.

Gather up your family and slowly read aloud.

Have a reading marathon and make your parents proud!

Bon appétit!



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