It’s inevitable that life will have busy seasons and sometimes that means less family time together. Schedules become hectic and our kids tend to have more digital screen time. It’s okay!

But one way to help us stay connected during the chaos is to carve out time to be and read together. Whether you have to put it on the calendar or you make it a habit, reading and family should be on the to-do list. So here are fun ways to encourage family time by reading together:

“A book is a gift you can open again and again.”– –Garrison Keillor (find good reading quotes for kids here)

1. Entertainment

When reading with or to little ones, engagement is key to keeping them involved. For small children, changing voices and acting out scenes will add to the magic of your story telling and have them entertained throughout the family time. Asking questions can also be helpful for children having a hard time with comprehension. For older kiddos, you can play popcorn where each family member reads a page, paragraph or character.

2. Discover new reading materials

Not everyone in the family is going to like biographies or sci-fi or whatever you may like so be sure to mix up the reading materials. Comics, cookbooks and magazines can be different and fun to incorporate. I also suggest taking an interest in your kids favorite themes, characters or series.

3. Location location location

Bedtime is not always the most convenient time and place for families to read together so be sure to find one that is right for your family. Maybe this means you will read together at the breakfast table or you have a cozy spot in the living room to snuggle up together. Wherever this is, make it consistent and inviting to increase the likelihood of reading and set the tone for the time spent together.

4. Think outside the box

Extend your family time by adding some special features to your readings. For example:

  • Read a book together that has a movie or show you can also watch together
  • The library or park can be fun and exciting locations to try out a new book
  • Get into the fun by having everyone dress up as a specific character before reading together
  • Maybe you have a kid who loves outer space or animals. Read books on the subject and then go to the zoo or space museum

5. Family Goals

When I was younger, the school would encourage you to read X number of books each semester and if achieved you would get a free personal pizza from Pizza Hut. You better believe that I would be reading as much as I could to get my own pizza!

Do the same as family! Set a goal(s) and decide on the family prize together. You can make a fun reading log or paperlink to keep track of the books you read.

Reading is important for the growth of the child. Reading together is important for the growth of the family. However you get it done, make sure to have fun with it and enjoy the time together learning and connecting.