If I’m being totally honest, my children do not always jump at the chance to read when we have downtime. There are no shortage of titles on their bookshelves and I usually have a giant tote bag filled with library books all ready for them to dive in. But as much as I would like for reading to be their go-to activity when they are bored, I don’t want to force it on them.
An almost foolproof way to get them interested in a book is to start reading one out loud. Don’t say their names or ask them to come sit next to you. Just start reading out loud to no one. A good book has the power to make all children within earshot slowly drop what they are doing and make their way zombie-like to the sound of your voice.
This past weekend, we had hours and hours of unheard of free time on Saturday morning and I was amazed at how quickly my two youngest said they had nothing to do. I offered “all these great books I just checked out from the library!” or suggested they curl up on the couch with a book from their room. Sadly, no takers. And I will admit, I heard the words “books are boring” and “I hate reading”. Shocking, I know.
So, I sat down in the next room with my awesome pile of library books and started reading out loud from the picture book, red cat blue cat by Jenni Desmond.
Red Cat and Blue Cat live in the same house.
Blue Cat stayed upstairs.
Red Cat stayed downstairs.
Whenever they saw each other–
it was NOT good. Not good at all.
But neither cat knew about the other’s secret wish.
By the time I was on page three, I had one kid in my lap and one sitting at my side. For the next 45 minutes, they were completely engaged and we read every book in the library bag. There is something irresistible about hearing the words of a good book read out loud.
I encourage you to try this “Field of Dreams” method with your kids.
Read it out loud and see if they come. 🙂