4 Ways to Make Nighttime Reading Even More Fun

Grab a flashlight and read under the covers!Grab a flashlight and read under the covers!When I ask my kids to list some of their favorite moments in the day, "reading stories at bedtime" is always on the list. It's been part of our routine since they were babies, and even as they grow older and can read on their own, they still love that quiet time together where we all get lost in a story.

Whether it's a bedtime story or you're cuddled up on the couch with your kids on a rainy afternoon, reading with your children is one of the most important activities you can share. In fact, literacy expert Pam Allyn recommends setting aside time during the day to read with your kids. Why? At bedtime, parents can find themselves rushing to finish a story because their minds are racing with thoughts of what they've left to do...work, laundry, prepping for the next day, etc. I know I've been guilty of speed reading bedtime stories.

If bedtime stories are what you have to work with, you need to make the most if it. Two important aspects of bedtime stories are that you keep it calm and you maintain the routine. But you also want to make it entertaining and engaging for all of you.

Try mixing in one of these activities to make nighttime reading more fun:

Read under a blanket using flashlights
. Ever find your kids trying to sneak in extra reading time by hiding under their covers, huddled up with a book and a flashlight? Grab a blanket, your own flashlight, and join in.

Take turns reading but use different voices. Ask your kids what they think a character sounds like in their mind. Loud voice? Silly? Shy? Read the story using those voices.

Incorporate a short audiobook.
Audiobooks shouldn't replace reading to your kids. However, your kids might enjoy hearing an author's interpretation of a book. (Need a starter? Try any audiobook in the Mercy Watson series.)

Make up different endings (or midways or beginnings) to the stories you're reading. Educators call this "extending a story." After reading to your kids, ask them how they would make the story different. Give it another beginning, middle and/or end. Would they add new characters? A different location?

How do you make bedtime stories fun? Do you set aside time to read together in the daytime?

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