Interactive Reading – Let The Games Begin!

Games are fun and kids love to play them, so how about bringing a book and a game together to make for an amazing reading experience. Here are some great ways to make any book an interactive one:

What Happens Next – Pick out a book and read through it. You can read the book to your child or if your child is already an independent reader this would be a great opportunity to have your child read aloud to you. Keep in mind that a story doesn’t have to end at the end of a book. Keep the story alive by adding more to it and transform the story you just read into something silly, sad, strange or whatever you like. Just let your imaginations run wild.

You can take turns doing this with your child or if you have several children then you could have each one take a turn and add another event to your evolving story. This would also make a great activity to do in the classroom.

If you plan to read a chapter instead of a whole book you can still have fun by predicting what will happen next. Keep this in the theme of the book to help improve your childs feel for what happens next in a story.

Find The Bonus Word/Words – Picture this: You finally get to spend some quality time with your child and decide to snuggle up and read him/her a book. At first your child is interested but, after a while you don’t think you have his/her attention anymore. Has that ever happened to you? Of course it has!

Well, make what you read to your child more exciting by picking out a bonus word. Scan the book and find a word that is in several places throughout the book. Whenever you read the bonus word then have your child say something in response to it. For example think of the book ,The Three Bears. For the bonus word/words we’ll use Baby Bear and for the response word/words we’ll use He’s furry. Now every time your child hears you say, “Baby Bear” as you read, he/she responds by saying, “He’s furry!”

This is a great way to keep the attention of the little ones especially. If you try this I’ll bet your child will be listening really hard to find that bonus word and you wont lose his/her focus while you read.

Show Me The Action – Sometimes its tough for kids to just sit still and listen so for a change of pace have your child act out all of the actions that you read about in the story. All of the running (in place of course), jumping, driving, whatever is going on in the story just have your child act out as you read.

This is also a great opportunity to teach about verbs, the action words in a sentence. For added fun you could video tape doing this with your child. I’ll bet that would be something your child would want to watch over and over again, and so would you.

I hope that now you’re inspired to try some new, interactive ways to read to/with your child. Use this as an opportunity to show your kids just how playful reading can be!


15 thoughts on “Interactive Reading – Let The Games Begin!

  1. Hi, Mindi!
    Thanks for asking! I tried to write back to you, but couldn’t because Twitter has a thing where you have to follow me for me to write to you.

    I’m a wife, mom of two young children, an elementary school teacher for 17 years, and now a reading consultant for a new company called “Grow Up With Books,” an online children’s book rental experience for kids 0-12.

    It’s the Netflix of Children’s Books, but the books just aren’t any books. It’s rich literature chosen by experienced educators. We also give a “Just a Heads Up” for books that might have mature content, mature language, etc. There are “connection cards” that give ways for parents to help children connect with the book once it’s been read. Another great piece is that we help parents figure out how to use the books…do I read TO my child, WITH my child, or let them read it on their OWN?

    Finally, we wouldn’t be a fine company if we didn’t give back. Right now we are working with several schools to provide books to children, giving money and working with the Maasai tribe to get children ready for school in hopes of helping to build libraries for them to name a few. We are also in the beginning stages of working with RIF, Reading is Fundamental, to help spread the love and importance of reading at an early age.

    As I said, we personally choose, read, and review each and every book that we offer. We are the filter for parents. GUWB helps parents, grandparents, caregivers, etc. make reading a priority. It’s a great gift to give because it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

    If you have time, I’d love for you to check it out and feel free to ask me any questions.

    My passion and mission for books is very similar to yours…I want children to LOVE reading and have fun with it!

    I actually just used one of your ideas with a twist. When we came upon the word “snow” we said…BURRRRRRR. We had another word, “cold” and said AAAACCCHHHOOOOO! Thanks for sharing great ideas! That’s what it’s all about .

    Looking forward to more shared ideas-
    Lara Ivey

    • Thank you Lara for leaving such a thoughtful comment. I will be sure to check out your recommended site, it sounds like you have a lot of experienced minds over there working towards getting books in the hands that need them.

      I love your suggestion about exchanging one word for an associated sound. How innovative!

  2. Awesome blog Mindi! I try to make reading with my daughter as fun as possible sometimes even acting like the character is real. You see she’s not a ordinary book lol she loves reading mysteries. lol

  3. Popping in from SITS!

    I’m all about interactive reading.

    I have a 13 yo, 12 yo, 9 yo, and 21 month old. They all love to read. I’m actually about to purchase the my baby can read series and I probably should have done it long ago but, better late than never!

    My 21 month old speaks very well due to I’m assuming having older siblings and the way we interact with him. He knows how to count to twenty and he knows his alphabet. He’s speaking and answering in complete sentences. I think he’ll pick up reading very quickly. My older children read daily and I think playing games with them would make it more enjoyable for them as well.

    Great post!

    • Thanks so much! I also have a 14yo, 12yo, 9yo & my only girl is my youngest at 7yo.

      How wonderful to have a little one again. I’m sure he gets lots of nurturing from his siblings and that helps him to be so smart.

  4. What great ideas! My son went as the main character from his favorite book Keeper of the Grail by Spradlin for Halloween. The second book was supposed to be out on the 29th. I ordered it 3 weeks ahead of time at B&N. They didn’t have it. They didn’t have 4 days later, so I called the BIG people. They had them all piled up in stock and would have it to me in 36 hrs. I have spent the last week dealing with, “Is it there yet? Can you check”
    He loves to read and this is his favorit author!

  5. I’m laughing b/c I’ve had your site open to comment for 2 days now and just got your comment on my blog . . . I’m loving your site and happy to meet you! I love the very concrete, kinesthetic suggestions you share in this post.

    My kids and interactive reading — does fidgeting count? I have a 4 year old and 7 year old with opposite personalities. We always dialogue about the story & now we’ll be trying your ideas, too.


    • Hi Melissa and welcome!

      I’m so glad you came by. We are really on the same page with what our sites offer. I enjoyed reading your posts.

      I’ll tell you what’s really funny also is that my next post on Real and Pretend is how I found your site, but I had already written the post before I found your site.

      You have a 4 & 7 yo? Those are great ages to try some of these games. Please come back here to visit and let us know what works well for your kids.

      I’m still smiling, It’s a small world, but you never really understand how small until you let yourself experience the world on a larger scale such as this.

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