While I’m away, I asked for a few guest posters to drop in and share their thoughts on reading, family, parenting, or basically anything on their minds. This first post from Emily at Weak and Loved . Check out her fantastic idea for getting in reading time with her six children, and then please hop on over to her blog to be further inspired. Thanks, Emily, for sharing!
“Children, grab your pillow pets! We’re doing a read around!”
They gather in the living room with their pillows and wait eagerly for instruction.
When they are ready, I yell, “Kitchen- GO!”
They run to the kitchen, and scramble to find the book. When it is found, they sit on their pillow pets in that room, and we read.
I have six children, and I would love to spend an entire day under blankets with them, reading books, and snuggling.
This never happens.
My children make me work for our reading time. Four of my six children are boys, and those boys are currently age 6 and younger. When we try to snuggle on the couch to read, they wiggle and fight, and look at me as if to say, “Reading is fun, mom, but it where’s the action? Where’s the challenge, the wrestling, and the thrill of competition?”
Introducing: The Read-Around
A simple activity that combines our love of books with their love of ACTION
- Identify the special books
In our house, books live in every room. We must mark the special books that we use for our read-around. We made hearts that say “I love books,” and I stuck them to the chosen ones with poster putty.
- Hide the books
Hide the books in several different rooms, while the children wait.
- Unleash the children
After explaining to them what they are looking for, call out the room where you want them to look. When they find the book, have them sit in that room while you read it. When the book is over, shout out the next room, and watch them scramble! Repeat, reading around the house from room to room, until your patience runs out or somebody gets hurt.
- If the children get too competitive, you may want to choose the “finder” for each room. The others can watch (and smirk, if they see it first.)
- When it comes to hiding places, remember: the weirder, the better. My children thought it was great fun to read a book while sitting in the bathtub.
- Choose short, funny books, full of action if possible. Read books that allow you to be a ham. They will love it.
- Give them something to sit on. My children bring their pillow pets from room to room for our read-arounds. This gives them the ability to choose their “space” and (ideally) remain in it during the book.
- Let the baby run free. My littlest one is 20 months old. I do not make him sit still through these stories. Last time, he toddled along with us from room to room, carrying his train and saying “choo choo” at regular intervals. It worked.
How do you manage reading time with your high-energy child?
Emily Cook is an experienced child-wrangler and mother of six, who laughs and writes to keep her sanity. She is also the author of Weak and Loved: A Mother-Daughter Love Story.
“…when she was often reduced to nothing, God carried her through, with or without her cooperation, her understanding or acceptance. This book helped me understand what true grace really is – the totally undeserved, bountiful love of God, which no circumstances can ever take away from us.” – bookie, on Amazon.com
Read more by Emily at www.weakandloved.com. She’s sure to make you laugh, think, pray, smile, or gag.
Psssttt! Check back tomorrow! Emily has an offer you won’t want to miss and I’ll have all the details for you right here!