Hey dads, here’s a simple question: How much do you read with your children? Once a day, once a week, all the time, not sure if I do…? It turns out that anywhere is a good place to start, and there are so many great reasons to ramp it up.
Research tells us that kids who read with their parents learn significantly faster and better. Our hearts and memories tell us that story time with mom or dad is the absolute best. Remember sinking deep into an easy chair to share a story? You and your child so close and so completely in the moment. It’s the kind of magic that makes a family tight, a one-stop-shop for bonding, learning, fun, and rich relationships.
Here are some ideas to help get the ball rolling. Reading with your kids could be one of the best things you do this year as a dad.
1. Make story time with your child a routine.
Just before supper; right after bath; a bedtime ritual; whatever works with your family schedule. Children thrive on routine, and they’re going to love this one.
2. Read with the children, not just to them.
This may mean running your finger under the words as you say them, entering into the spirit of the story, reading with expression and enthusiasm, and seeing how much fun reading can be because dad loves it too!
3. Make reading an interactive experience.
Ask questions as you go, such as, “What do you think happens next,” “Remind me what happened back on that last page,” and “Let’s read this sentence out loud together.”
4. Be an active reader yourself.
Sometimes when the children are reading their book, you can be reading one of your own. Share what’s going on in your story and ask what’s going on in theirs.
5. Subscribe to an age-appropriate magazine in your child’s name.
It’s fun to get something in the mail, and it’s always fresh material.
Make books and reading part of your family culture, and they won’t just fall in love with reading, they’ll fall more in love with you.
Huddle with your kids and ask, “What is your favorite story to read?”