The holidays are upon us and it’s the perfect time to kick back, relax, and share a little bonding time. Vacations should be focussed entirely on family, friends and kids. And we know that getting children to read during holidays can be a challenge.
The trick is simple: Make reading a treat, not a chore.
Children often associate reading with the tediousness of schoolwork. At home, you should strive to break that negative association. We’ve come up with eight easy ways you can get your child excited for bedtime books:
1. Try out togetherness
Find stories to read together. Borrow library books by authors that you have never read, or borrow more books by your favourite authors. Read our stories on www.nalibali.org and www.nalibali.mobi. All these resources are available – all you have to do, is be present. Make sure that you and your child have a set time every day, or every week to relax and unwind. Read their favourite type of story, discuss it, let them ask questions. The results will be astounding.
2.Become a storyteller
Make up stories. Start telling your family a story that you have made up, then add another instalment each day to continue the plot. You can all take turns adding each day’s instalment until the tale ends. You and your child can even take turns to weave the narrative. Not only does is this a fun bonding session, but you get to spark kids’ creativity and imagination.
3.Create a reading corner
Encourage your children to find a place at home that they can make into a holiday reading corner. Let them use cushions and blankets to make it comfortable. Decorate it with their drawings and other pictures. The more they associate reading with comfort and safety and beauty, the more inclined they’ll be to read.
4. Change chore time into storytime
Let a family member read aloud from their favourite book while others are preparing meals or cleaning up afterwards. Take turns being the person who reads aloud.
5. Create a menu
Children love the detail in a story. They enjoy hearing about what the character’s favourite colour is, or their favourite smell. They love talking about what kinds of clothes and food the characters enjoy, and what their favourite lolly pop flavour is. So make a game of this: Imagine the foods your favourite story characters would like and write a pretend menu for a supper you would invite them to.
6. Write a story
Make books by stapling blank sheets of paper together and write stories with your children. If your little ones are very young, just get them to draw the pictures and offer to write the words they tell you. Let older children draw and write on their own. Read your books to each other – and to children who visit!
7. Make a production
Choose a well-loved story with exciting characters. With your children, write down what each character says and let them choose who they want to be! Provide props like pieces of fabric, hats, shoes or clothes and act out the story.
8. Find reading spots
How many different places can you read or tell stories in during the holidays? How about in a car or bus, under a tree, or on the beach? Keep a list and at the end of the holidays, share your list by posting it on Facebook. Tell us the names of the stories you enjoyed too!
If you’re looking for more fun and simple ways to bring home the power of stories, click here for 30 more holiday activities. Happy holidays!