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I’m a huge fan of reading to kids before bed. From bonding time to life lessons, the benefits are numerous. However, it can be fun to change things up from time to time. If your child is used to hearing you read a story every night, they might be excited about something new. Or maybe you don’t love reading aloud. These ideas will be fun alternatives for you.
Create a team story
Work as a team with your child to create a story. Start by saying one sentence. Then your child adds one. Continue taking turns and have fun seeing where your story goes! I used to do this as a teacher when we had a minute to do something fun. I gave a sentence, then I gave each student a turn to add one. Sometimes I had to give them a little guidance to keep the story going, but we had so much fun. I loved hearing how they added their personalities to the story. They especially loved to make the story silly, so we had some good laughs.
Another way to create a team story is to stop at key points and ask for your child’s input. Ask who the main character is (animal, thing or person) and what they are named. Then ask a couple of questions about the setting. Begin telling the story and ask questions as you go. “What is the villain’s name?” “What did the villain do?” “Where did Billy go next?” “How will Ella get the magic ring back?” Building stories as a team is lots of fun, and it helps kids develop creativity.
Use the pictures in a familiar story to create a new one
This one is a little more difficult, so kids may need help doing it the first few times. Get out a picture book. Ignore all of the words on it. Have your child tell a new story using the pictures. Give the characters new names and new problems.
Tell life stories
As a kid, I loved it when my parents told me stories about when they were younger. Tell your kids about something that happened when your were in school, a favorite hobby you had, a difficulty you overcame, or something silly! If you ever kept a journal, find a passage to share with your child. Tell them the story of when they were born, or cute things they did as a baby. You can also tell them stories about your parents and grandparents! They will feel much more connected to their family members when they learn more about them.
Silly picture stories
Show your child a funny picture. Create a story together using the picture for inspiration. Just head over to Google to find an infinite amount of pictures and ideas.
Listen to an audio book together.
Audio books are amazing. It’s so much fun to listen to a professional read a favorite book. This takes the pressure off of Mom and Dad, so they can enjoy the story too! Most libraries have a good selection of audiobooks, and some even have digital versions available. Check to see what your library offers. Another option is Audible. They send deals through email, and sometimes they have free books available.
What have you done to keep story time interesting?
Learn more ways to bond with your kids.