1. Dress up
Putting on the costume of one of the books characters can be great fun both for them and for you. I would advise against spending money on outfits, make your own out of whatever you can find. Reading becomes fun and you will find yourself really getting into the characters.
2. Give them props
There’s nothing like reading a story about a brave knight, whilst your child weilds the sword, or the fairy god mother’s wand, or wears the astronauts helmet and so on. You will learn pretty quickly that giving an excited child a prop isn’t always the best idea; but thats all part of the fun.
3. Use puppets
If you can’t dress up then why not use a puppet? Keep it secret if you can. Suddenly producing a crocodile to snap on their fingers half way through a story can bring fits of laughter.
5. Use a voice changer or sound effects
Some books come with sound effects but making your own can be much more fun. And if you buy yourself one of those voice-changing megaphones you can really get into character.
6. Find the perfect place
Next time you go to the zoo, take a book along. Reading ‘Giraffes can’t dance’ by Giles Andreae in front of the giraffes at the zoo brings the book to life. I’m planning on taking a Dinosaur book to the Natural History Museum. Locations can really make a book special and it’s the sort of memory that will really stick in your child’s mind.
7. Make it a play
If there are two of you why not take it in turns to read, or even better, take on different characters. Kids love being lavished in attention and what better way to do that than this?
8. Read over Facetime/Skype
Sometime you have to work away, but it doesn’t mean you have to miss out. Technology is global. There aren’t many places you can’t get some wifi and a few mins to read to your kids on the otherside of the world.
Hopefully these tips will help you make story time a little bit more special! Please ‘like’, ‘share’ and ‘subscribe’. You can also follow me on social media (links at the bottom of the page).
Huw Jones is a children’s writer and illustrator and author of ‘Sydney the Salesman Centipede’ available here.