My kids love reading. It’s one of those things that they just do. While my three year old can’t read on her own yet, I often hear her in her room making up her own stories to go along with the pictures she sees, or summarizing in her own words what I’ve read to her. My son started reading just before he turned 4 and in kindergarten he was reading at the third grade level. Today, you’ll find books everywhere in my house. I would like them put back on the bookshelf, but that only happens if I do it myself. Instead the books are on the couch, the floor, my bedside table, even on the bathroom counter. Sometimes I find myself frustrated with the mess and then I realize how blessed I am that my children love books.
In kindergarten, my son had a reading buddy from the 4th grade class and it was his favorite activity. So now I’m adding story time to our homeschool schedule but the difference is that my son gets to be the older boy and read stories to my daughter and her preschool-aged friends. I’m planning a story time for next week and he’ll be reading Snowbear’s Winter Day and Snowmen All Year.
I also started a chapter book exchange with our friends and old classmates. We meet and each child puts a chapter book in the pot, then everyone gets to pick something they haven’t read before. Sure we could go to the library, but it’s a fun way to get kids to talk about their reading together and also gives us an opportunity to play with our friends.
I look forward to hearing them talk about their reading, “What’s this about?”, “Is this funny or scary?” Then when we get together again they can tell each other what they thought about the book. Group reading activities are fun – good readers get to read, not-so-good readers get encouragement and help from others, and everyone has a good time.
Also, I like to try to incorporate an activity into the story time – sometimes it will happen and sometimes it won’t. But Snowmen All Year has a built-in activity. Each illustrated page has hidden images (it tells you what to look for on the dedication page). My son and I were looking for them last night and we spent at least 30 minutes together talking, laughing, and searching.
Do you do any group reading activities or book-related activities with friends? Tell us about your adventures or share your favorite winter story below!