The Ultimate Guide to Reading Month: 4 Top Reading Activities for Kids

It’s National Reading Month, and we know the perfect way to celebrate: reading, but with some fun twists! Getting lost in a good book is always an adventure within itself, but when you pair a book with an activity, you can really bring the story to life. So, this March, let’s help our kids discover a love for reading by making them the main character of their favorite book through these fun reading activities:

“See” the world with a reading passport.

In an instant, a book can transport you to a faraway place. Imagine sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, walking past the Great Pyramid of Giza, or driving through the Australian outback—a book can take you to each of these places. Many authors are skilled at painting vivid pictures of beautiful scenes around the world—just pick where you want to go and find a book that features that destination.

Turn this into a fun activity by creating a reading passport for kids to record the destinations they’ve “visited” in each book. My son and I “traveled” to France through a book about Sophie Germain, an 18th century mathematician whose formula became a foundation for modern architecture. Once we were done reading, we drew the country’s flag in our reading passport. You can even take this experience a step further by cooking a dish that is popular in a particular region. Who knows—maybe this will inspire a future trip.

Plan themed reading days.

Make a story come to life by pairing a book with a hands-on activity or craft. This past spring, my son was inspired by one of his favorite books, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” and asked if we could have a butterfly farm. We bought all the supplies and watched the metamorphosis of five baby caterpillars to beautiful painted lady butterflies. We fed them, watched them flutter, and eventually released them in our backyard. What an exciting experience it was for our family!

There are plenty of other options to explore as well. You could bake a treacle tart while reading “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” learn the Five-Step Waltz as you follow the March sisters through “Little Women,” or get lost in “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by planting your favorite vegetables. Tying an activity to a book can help your child feel as though they are a character, too!

Have a movie night.

Pop some popcorn, build a pillow fort, and turn on a blockbuster hit based on a book. There are so many options—from “Anne of Green Gables,” “The Princess Diaries,” and “A Wrinkle in Time” to “The Hunger Games,” “Curious George,” and “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.”

After, you can have a lively debate over whether the book or the movie was better and discuss the differences and similarities between the two. These types of discussions engage their imagination, which fosters critical thinking skills and cognitive development.

Try an audiobook.

Audiobooks can be a great way to indulge in a good story while improving your child’s listening skills and teaching them proper pronunciation. Plus, did you know that many audiobook narrators do a fantastic job expressing characters’ personalities and emotions through a variety of voices, sounds, and tones?

Jim Dale, who reads the “Harry Potter” audiobook series, is one of my favorite narrators to listen to. He is quite skilled at differentiating the characters in dialogue through a variety of enthusiastic voices. A professional narrator, like Jim Dale, can bring the story to life—which helps spark your child’s imagination while bringing a deeper understanding of and empathy for each character.

And remember—our children often grow fond of doing the same activities that we love participating in. So, if you show genuine interest and excitement in reading and celebrate their accomplishments along the way, they are likely to establish positive feelings for getting lost in a good book. We want our children to want to read, and these activities can be a great starting point for making reading fun.

For resources that will help encourage your child to embrace reading, go to K12 Leading With Literacy.

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