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How to make reading stories more interesting for your kids

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Do your kids fuss and complain when you want to read to them? Do they struggle to pay attention? Does it turn into an argument or a fight to get them to sit still? Try these 5 top ideas for engaging your kids in reading activities that don’t involve sitting still.

  1. Act out the story as you read it

Have fun playing along with the story – it doesn’t have to be boring, stuffy or forced. If your kids are active let them act the story out as you read along. Being creative and pretend play helps kids develop social and emotional skills, so creating opportunities for kids to role play and imitate positive adult behaviour is great for their development. You could have the next Margot Robbie or Hugh Jackman in your house! You may want to read the HIPPY story book Adam’s Salad where you can collect the weeds as you go along and then make a real salad just like Adam at the end.

  1. Give the characters in the books funny voices

Use different voices and make the characters come to life. You’ll all be laughing together in no time! Read any story book and have fun making up voices, take it in turns and go crazy! Sharing time together as a family gives kids a strong sense of belonging.

  1. Change the story and pretend it’s happening somewhere like the Moon

Have some fabulous fun thinking up different locations where the story takes place. We can all guess what happens in the story The Three Little Pigs. Can you think how the story would change if it happened on the Moon? Even if you haven’t read it, what do you think the story is about and what would happen if pigs lived on the Moon? Let’s get some books about science to spice up our story!

  1. Make up alternative endings

Change the ending of a story and make a new one. What would happen in the 5 Little Ducks song if they went to the movies instead of going over the hill? What would they have seen? Make up a new song “5 little ducks go out one day, off to the movies and far away, mother duck went quack, quack, quack, quack, and none of the five little ducks came back”. What did mother duck do to find her ducklings? Where were they playing? You could use this opportunity to talk about safety and sticking together when out and about.

  1. Talk about the stories together afterwards

Make the stories take on extra levels of meaning for your kids by talking about the funny characters and the fun things they did. Talk about their favourite parts and things they would change about the story, and think of family members that are like the characters in the book. Just like Molly the Pig (Moli Det Bigibigi) by Karen Manbullo, do you know anyone that is like Molly? Connect the stories to your lives and family.

Families living in or adjacent to the Adelaide suburbs of Mansfield Park, Ferryden Park, Woodville Gardens, Angle Park, Davoren Park, Parafield Gardens, Paralowie, Salisbury or Salisbury North with kids who are starting kindergarten this year may want to check out our HIPPY program, created to support parents in their homes with activities and information to support their preschool kids.