Encouraging a love of reading from an early age is a wonderful gift to give children. It is a great way for them to develop their imagination and creativity, as they discover new worlds, characters and experiences through storybooks.
This is celebrated in schools during Book Week each August, however, why not bring the fun home as well and enjoy some fun book-related activities with your child
Little Koala Book Club is a perfect way for children to explore story characters deeper, with the chance to dress up and ‘become’ their favourite characters through pretend play, both at school during Book Week and at home.
This is just one way to delve deeper into a book with your child. For more ideas on how you can encourage an early passion for reading with your child, read on for some fun activities you can do at home:
After reading a new story, ask your child to draw their favourite character or illustrate their favourite part of the book. This allows them to express their creativity and practice their fine motor skills using pencils, crayons and chalk.
If you are looking for an independent activity for your child, colouring in or painting is a great activity for kids of all ages. There are endless free printable colouring pages available online if you search and often you can find free colouring pages related to popular children’s books. If not specifically related to the book, there will be related options such as fairy colouring sheets or pirates.
Another activity that is wonderful for both fine motor skills and creativity is playdough. Have your child create the characters from their story using playdough. This activity also helps younger children learn shapes and forms. You can easily make your own homemade playdough.
For kids who are learning letters and words, another fun activity is to have them make the title of the book from playdough.
Explore Through Food
Create a meal or snack for your child that is related to the story they are dressing up from during Book Week, whether it be food that was mentioned in the story itself or something that relates in another way. It may be through colours, shapes or by using your imagination to guess what the characters would like to eat. You can ask your child for suggestions for this fun food idea.
For older children who are learning how to write at school, have them do a writing activity relating to their story. This can be anything you think they would enjoy. Perhaps writing a letter to a character in the story, writing their own new adventure for the main characters or a simple task of writing what they thought about the book.
These tasks can also be related to the Book Week theme of the year, which you will find on The Children’s Book Council of Australia website.
Make sure this task is something they would enjoy and that it is suited to their level of writing skills. Our goal is to encourage a love of reading from an early age so keep your writing activities fun.
By trying some or all of these extra activities with your child, you can easily bring the fun of Book Week into your home to encourage your child to develop an interest in reading from an early age and help set them up for success when they are learning to read at school. These activities support comprehension and creativity and will hopefully help them to grow up with a love of reading for pleasure!
Bio: Holly Connors is a psychologist, a mother of two and the owner of the family and lifestyle website Simplify Create Inspire, where she helps busy families to simplify their lives and make more time for the fun stuff.