7 Ways to Make Reading Fun!

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ~ Dr. Seuss


Jumping into a good book is like taking your mind on an amazing expedition. Through
reading and writing, anything is possible. Creating worlds with talking animals, alternate universes, aliens and more!

Unfortunately, not everyone has a natural taste for reading. Depending on a child’s learning style, reading and writing may feel more like a chore. As a parent, it is your job to convince them reading is fun! This may be difficult, but there are many ways to encourage a child to love reading.

How can we ignite a child’s passion for reading?


Read the Right Book


Choose or let your child pick a book that they can relate too. If they play sports, love camping or dancing, for example, find a book that encompasses those topics.
mom and daughte

Books are more enjoyable to read when you’re interested in the topic and want to know more.

Choose a book that is on your child’s reading level. Sometimes reading can be overwhelming when you don’t understand the words or is too long for them. A simple way to tell if a book is on your child’s reading level is by using the five finger rule. Read the first page, and have your child hold up a finger for every word they don’t know. If they don’t understand five or more words, they may not be ready to read that book yet. That is okay! Everyone learns at his or her own pace and overbook they read improves their reading level!

Read a variety of material – stories, poems, information books, newspaper articles and comics for your child. Show them all the forms literature comes in. Maybe they would prefer to read short stories and poems instead of chapter books?

 

Create a Reading Space

Finding a quiet place to sit down and read a book is a great start a habit of settling down and focusing on reading. Create a calm and inviting environment where your child feels completely comfortable spending time with their favourite characters, and getting lost in a beautiful story. This should be a place where their imagination can run wild.

Lead by example! Make time for yourself to read a book as well. Go to your reading place and read your books silently together. This is also a great way for family bonding time.

My little bookcase has a wonderful list of reading space ideas here.

189532-OXJZFK-606

Bring the Book to Life 

Try and plan ahead if the book is spooky and Halloween related, dress up in costume and read it by flashlight. If it about going to the beach, read it at the beach! By doing this, you’re bringing another element to the story. Visual and kinesthetic learners really connect when they feel physically involved.

Three vintage witches perform magic ritualWhen reading a story with dialogue change voices or share the reading by assigning a character to each reader.

Ask questions about what they are reading! How do they feel about the characters? What do you think will happen next? Can they relate to the characters? As your child becomes more familiar with books and reading, ask questions about the structure. Who is the protagonist? When you ask questions and discuss what they are reading it makes them think and question what they just read helping their reading comprehension.

Many books now have apps and videos you can watch and play along with. For an introduction to book and reading, W5Go’s app on books and reading explains the many kinds of books and reading material available and when we use each one.


Library Dates

Set a day once or twice a month where you go to the library to discover a new book. Make a date of it, grab a hot cocoa and settle in for some family bonding time! Also, many libraries offer programs for kids or reading clubs your child can join!270249

Bringing a child to a library promotes being social and creates a sense of community. They can see a world of different books, and meet new people that also enjoy reading. The library community helps a child feel more comfortable with talking about what they are reading, their thoughts and feelings about a book. Joining book clubs is a great way for children to discuss and learn about how everyone views things differently. We learn more by discussing and talking about what we’ve seen or read.

 

Make it A Challenge 

Some children are really motivated by challenges and find it really fun to complete a task. So make a game out of it! How many books can they read over the summer?

Mback to shcoolaybe offer a prize like an ice cream for finishing a book.

Make a chart counting the books they’ve read. According to SMART goals, people are more likely to achieve a goal, such as finishing a book, if they can physically see and track their progress. You can start off small such as a chapter every two weeks. By making it a challenge, a child can practice planning and setting goals to achieve them. It instills a habit of making time to read and set aside time to accomplish a goal.

Often libraries will release summer book series challenges, and there are plenty online to choose from. My KidsTime has a great list of summer books and challenges for kids here.

Be Creative!

While reading the book take time to draw, paint, act or model scenes they’ve read. This helps children comprehend what they have read, and be able to retell the story to others. Use voices while reading aloud to make the book more interesting. Have your child create a voice and read along pretending to be the character.
296642-P74CHQ-617
Try and find books that have movie adaptions or plays made about them. Read the book and reward it with a trip to the theatre and watch the show together. Make a family date of it, grab a treat after and discuss how the show compared to the book. 

Come together with fellow parents and create a book club with your children. When they finish a book together throw a themed party for the kids to talk about the story. If they have a birthday coming up have it themed around their favourite book. Have fun with it! Make costumes or crafts, bake food mentioned in the stories.

Break the Rules!

Some rules are meant to be broken. Allow them to stay up a bit later to finish that chapter in a book. Read to them even if they can read on their own. Hearing others read helps with pronunciation. Let them move around while you read. For kinesthetic learners, this may help them listen and understand what the story is about. 

reading

Reading yields so many benefits for a growing mind, encouraging a child to read is like giving them the keys to the city. So go ahead give them the key and open the doors to possibilities! 

Books and Reading

W5Go’s Books and Reading app is an easy, fun way to introduce your child to the wonders of reading! Enjoy an exciting adventure in augmented & virtual reality, exploring the W5Go secret library, learning the who, what, where, when and why’s of books!

books_readingIcon_0003_Screen-Shot-2018-07-18-at-1.30.59-PM

Available Now!

Google Play 

App Store

Slide Me

booksandreadingTitle

 

 

 

 

 

Importance of Being Present: Physically, Emotionally and Mentally

In this chaotic world where our minds are constantly multi-tasking, how often do we really mentally live in the present? We are surrounded by cellphones, hectic schedules, media, meetings and so much more, it is so easy for our minds to slip in and out of the present. For instance, how many times during a work meeting or a class do you find your mind wandering? I know a boring situation, but what if you had been fully mentally present? Would you of had a new idea, a different perspective, a better understanding of an ongoing project?

What does being present mean? It is more than just being physically there it is also being connected emotionally and mentally to your surroundings. Knowing what is going on around you and what you are doing right now.

A lot of performers are calling for cellphones to be banned from their shows. They want to encourage people to interact and live in the moment, create a concert experience the way it was twenty years ago before technology. They put a lot of effort planning and rehearsing tours, only to be greeted with a sea of cellphones recording their shows. It has become such an issue that they have had to create cellphone lock cases for concerts.  

Yondr
A company called Yondr has created lock cases for phones during concerts. They can only be unlocked upon exiting a venue.

 Can you think of the last time you were completely present? Completely emerged in the situation around you. Can you recall small details of that event? How it made you feel? Who did you meet? Why were you there? What did you learn?


Why should you make an effort to be present?

When you are mentally engaged in a situation you remember details, learn more, and feel more of a connection to what is happening around you. Being present gives you:

303691-P7QH9L-301

Appreciation: How often do you walk by flowers and not smell them? When you are living in the moment, you notice the smaller things in life, things that make you happy, sad or full of emotions. Being present allows you to observe the world around you with a fresh view on life, like a child discovering things for the first time, you find yourself rediscovering many things.

When you appreciate the world around you, you often stop over-analyzing and labelling thing/people things that don’t matter. You put less effort into judging others and being upset over stuff that doesn’t matter.

OT1C850Boost Creativity: Be inspired by the details, you often overlook, this will spark imagination and ignite your creativity. When you are on your way to work, you can drive the same route every day, but notice something new each time. That new store or mural you saw may provoke the thought you needed to finish a project or start a new one.

Social skills: We are unintentionally hiding behind social media, most of the time planning, typing and re-typing what we want to say. When you’re present there are no rehearsals this is you, and this is happening now. Confidence and conversation start to flow more naturally and being shy starts to become a thing of the past. You start to notice things you have in common with people, making conversation and connecting easier.

Reduces Stress: Knowing what is going on around you can reduce stress. When you mentally present in a lecture you remember more and can better prepare yourself for an exam. Also, if you are thinking in the moment you are not focusing on events in the future or past that could be making you nervous, like job interviews or exams.

blurry image background of many audience concert in big rock con

Emotional Connections: When you go through an experience with someone it creates a bond. You may not be friends, it could be a stranger, but you have lived through an experience that only you and those people could share.

A great example of creating emotional connections is by going to a concert, how did you feel when they played your favourite song? Did you cry, laugh, sing along? Who was there with you? Did you meet someone new?

255578-P4EAUP-789

Mental Health: Feeling connected to others creates a sense of belonging, community and confidence. When you are thinking about the present, you don’t dwell on past mistakes or embracing encounters your mind is free and in the now. Being mentally present can do wonders for your mental health, you put less pressure on yourself, judge yourself and others less. It helps you discover who you are as a person and can give you new confidence in your abilities.


Small Changes to Help be More Present

 

Ditch the phone: As amazing as technology is when it comes to socializing and being present it can make it harder for us to leave our shells. Awkward situations may have you reaching for your phone resist the urge and make the best out of the moment. People survived awkward encounters before cell phones you can too!

sm-02

In an experiment called “The iPhone Effect” 200 hundred people were asked to have conversations, meaningful or casual with and without a phone present. Any time a phone was visible the quality of the conversation was rated as less fulfilling than when the phone was removed from the scenario.

Why was this? Did the phone possibly act as a distraction even though it was not being used? Likely, the person was probably thinking about checking their phone and not giving their full attention to the conversation.

When you are trying to be fully aware of your surroundings and mentally present, place you somewhere out of site. It may seem weird at first, but you will feel more relaxed and at the moment once you are used to it.

Talk to people: Talk to the people around you and listen! Everyone can learn something from anyone. It can be pretty easy to spot someone else that is “present” talk to them. This could lead to interesting conversations, friendship or even a job the possibilities are endless. 

Breathing is key: Are you feeling nervous about your surroundings? Start to keep track of your breathing. Try to have strong deep breaths think about where you are right now and how you are feeling? Notice your body, where are your hands placed, are you hot or cold?

Young women yoga indoors keep calm and meditates while practicin

Sometimes we become lost in our minds because we are in an uncomfortable situation. Like a large crowd or a workplace meeting, and our minds are trying to calm us down by not thinking about anything but the present. Think of these situations as challenges. We don’t personally evolve unless we are put into situations we aren’t familiar with. Breathing will ground you, release stress and give you the little boost you need to get through and grow in the moment.

Yoga is a great practice to help you become more present and intuned with your body and your environment. Also, yoga can be done anywhere, Gaiam is a great website for beginners who want to start yoga at home.