Each year, Read Across America day falls on March 2nd in honor of Dr. Seuss Birthday. Whether you choose to read a Dr. Seuss book or prefer to read other children’s books, the primary goal of this day is to celebrate reading and to continuously foster a love for reading so children will become lifelong readers. One of the best ways to promote a love for reading with young children is to make reading fun!
1. Read a Fun Book!
If you have ever read a Dr. Seuss book, one of the first things you probably noticed is that Dr. Seuss believed that reading should be fun. Every book Dr. Seuss wrote was filled with wacky rhymes and words to keep reading fun. The best books are always those that the children enjoy reading just because they fall in love with it. Whether they fall in love with the words, the rhymes, the characters, the pictures, or the story itself – if young children love the book then they will want to read it many times over because in their mind, this book is FUN! A fun book my students love to read is “A Perfectly Messed Up Story” by Patrick McDonnell.
2. Read an Interactive Book!
Some books are interactive books, meaning that the book invites the children to interact with the story in some way. Books such as “Press Here” or “Mix it Up” by Herve Tullet are two examples of interactive books. The children are invited to press a dot or rub a color and then turn the page to see what might happen next. The interaction with the book makes the book a different kind of fun to read.
3. Provide Props for Reading Along!
Sometimes you can create your own interactive story by providing props that the children can manipulate or create with as you read aloud the story. For example, while reading “Harold and the Purple Crayon” by Crockett Johnson, (which is a fun book by itself) the children drew their own purple drawings as I read the book aloud.
4. Invite a Guest Reader!
Sometimes having a new reader join you in the classroom will make any book fun! Throughout the year, we invite our parents to join us and read a book that their child has chosen to the class. It is always fun to see what the children will choose and it is always fun listening to the parent (and the child) read the book to us (even when the book is filled with long dinosaur names that no one really knows how to pronounce).
5. Turn the Book into a Fun and Active Game!
If you plan ahead a bit, you can often come up with a fun and active game to tie into the book. For example a book like “Duck, Duck, Moose” by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen is a great lead in for a fun game of Duck Duck Goose (or Moose). One of my students brought in the book “Portside Pirates” by Oscar Seaworthy. After ready the book, the children played “Shipwreck” in the middle of the classroom. To play the game, put four colors of tape on the floor. One line is Portside, one line is Starboard, the other two lines are “this way” and “that way,” and the center is “Overboard!” Just call out the word and the children must go to one of those lines unless everyone goes “overboard!”
Of course, there are many ways to bring children’s books to life around the classroom which I have shared often throughout my blog. Bringing books to life, reading with props, being interactive, playing games, or just choosing a fun read-aloud are all great ways to make reading fun! And when your students think reading is fun, your students will want to read the books you have shared with them on their own too!
Available on Amazon
Links to Grow On
A Story in a Box by Teach Preschool
Buttons, Buttons, and More Buttons by Teach Preschool
Don’t Push My Button by Teach Preschool
DIY Musical Strummies by Teach Preschool