Is your New Year’s resolution to read more? Are you looking for a nice way to spend family time that does not revolve around screens? Reading together can help you do both. Adults and children alike benefit from this shared activity. Here are some quick ideas for making reading fun and family friendly.
1. Read aloud together
No matter the age of your children, they will enjoy it when you read to them aloud. Think about classic books with engaging characters. Take turns reading in different voices or different chapters. Think back to memorable books that you enjoyed as a child and reread them together. You may be surprised by what you enjoy about them when you examine them again. Plus, it gives you a chance to share some of the memories of your childhood with your children.
2. Pick books about the same topic
If reading the same book together doesn’t work for your family, select reading material on a similar topic. Consider topics that your family enjoys. If last month’s ski trip was a highlight of your year, have everyone in your family pick a book that involves skiing. Come together and discuss what you read about, what interested you, and what connections you made between your experience and those in the books.
3. Make a movie choice
Select a novel that has been made into a movie or check out the movies based on novels that are being released this year. Many children enjoy seeing how their visualizations of a book compare to the imagination of the film creators. Kids also love discussing the similarities and differences between the book and movie. After reading the book together, celebrate by watching the movie together in the theater.
4. Don’t forget the humor
If you are looking for text that will appeal to your whole family, look for books that include humor. Nothing engages even the most reluctant reader more than funny characters navigating silly situations. Local librarians, media specialists, and teachers have a wealth of knowledge about which authors are masters of comedy and which series appeal to humor-loving children of all ages.
5. Identify the right time
Establishing a habit is an important part of sticking to your resolution. Choose a time of day based on your family’s individual preferences and routines. Many families enjoy reading together at night, but other times of the day might work better with your family’s schedule. Maybe your family would enjoy cozying up together on the couch on Saturday morning, or perhaps relaxing with a book together after dinner would suit your family best.
6. Get comfy
Make yourselves comfortable when you read. Find a spot by the fire where you can all read together. Lay out a bunch of pillows and blankets to make a relaxing oasis to read in. Let your little ones build a “reading fort” and gather your reading materials to take inside. Popcorn isn’t just for movies. Grab your favorite snack or beverage to enjoy as you dive into your reading.
7. Find a local book club
There are many options for book clubs for both children and adults. Look at your local library, tutoring center, or bookstore for organized groups that read and discuss books together. If you can’t find one that fits your needs, get some families together and start your own!
8. Have fun
The easiest resolutions to keep are those that you enjoy. Have fun with your reading on your own and with your family. Try a new genre or author. Read a book that will teach you something new. Have your children or spouse select your next read. Be a model for your children of enjoying a good book, and they will follow suit!
9. Keep a list of each book
At the end of 2022, revisit your list and discuss the titles you shared together and separately. Which were most memorable and why? What authors would you read again? By celebrating your year of reading together, you create a tradition that you can carry into every new year.
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