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What do you let your kids do while you are reading to them?

Posted by on Sep. 28, 2011 at 11:07 AM
  • 26 Replies

 when reading sometimes kids just cant sit still! so what do you let your kids do while you read to them?

do they have to just sit there and listen?

or do they do something else, draw, legos, etc?

by on Sep. 28, 2011 at 11:07 AM
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by Platinum Member on Sep. 28, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Mine usually sit for story time but they color during school reading.

by on Sep. 28, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Even when they were in diapers I made them sit still and listen, back in those days I read small books and as they grew in age so did the size of the book I read.  I used to when they were younger ask questions as we were going along to keep them engaged, as they grew older I would only ask questions at the end of our reading.

We've outgrown me reading to them.  All of mine love to read and are above their peers in reading level, some reading the same books as my husband and I are,.  So right now we just converse about what we're reading and sometimes I will gather everybody together and we'll do a reading circle where we read together our own books and at the end of our set time we will share what's going on in our books with the group.

by on Sep. 28, 2011 at 12:42 PM
You know, I'm struggling with this ATM. I thought maybe having her color a page that went along with the story would help her to remember and listen. So far, not so much! Lol
I am starting to realize I need to do what we have always done, just sit and listen. Sometimes she fidgets, but when I ask a random question or her daddy asks what the story we read was about, she does better this way. She is not a multi tasker. Lol
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by on Sep. 28, 2011 at 1:11 PM

They don't need anything for picture books, but the book itself being read to them at any early age.

As they get older and I start getting into chapter books, before they reach an age where they can read one themselves productively, then we have found that Bendaroos and puzzles to be the most effective way to allow them to be active in their play, while listening to a story being read to them (with a general understanding of what is happening).  Coloring and building blocks were disasters for various reasons.

In addition to this, we have significantly cut out TV and Wii times altogether, because we have found that the moment they are allowed to do either of those, their concentration levels drop radically.  TV and video  are now only used after it has been earned and LONG after school is done for the day.  We have a few exceptions to this rule, but they are only used when absolutely necessary.  Otherwise, that is the standard in our home and it works great!  (I'll admit my own guilt in this, too.  I am an adult, but find that the moment I get on the Internet, my concentration levels also drop.  I am a hundred times more productive before I get online than after.  So even I have to discipline myself in this and be aware of what it can do to me.)

Hands down, though, I find bedtime to be the best time for reading.  They do their routine before bed, the lights are dimmed, they are in their comfy jammies, and laying down.  The atmosphere is set and it makes for a wonderful time of stories (fiction and non-fiction) being told!  Though, in our household, this also means the kids ask a lot more questions for obvious reasons!  ;)  I got some night owls in the house!  I am an early bird, so I keep those questions to a minimum or they'd go all night!  LOL!  But this is also the best time to get the most conversation out of my children and so we treasure it a great deal.  :)

That was probably more than you were asking for, but story time is at various times during the day, so it's not necessarily cut and dry in our household.  :)  I even read recipes while I cook!  Some cookbooks are fascinating to read when they include stories, history, cooking tid-bits, etc.  I also adore stories on CDs that can be listened to in the house or in the vehicle!  I'd rather them listen to Charlotte's Web on CD than watch the movie, but we watch the movie, too.  ;)

There you have it!  :)

by on Sep. 28, 2011 at 1:13 PM
I let my DS sit on a exercise ball. When he needs to he will bounce or wiggle on it. It has made reading to him more enjoyable for both of us. I actually let him use the ball for all of school. I laugh because I can tell when he is really thinking hard because he will bouce like crazy.
by on Sep. 28, 2011 at 1:16 PM

They sit... and listen.   


by on Sep. 28, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Mine are generally on top of me looking at the pictures, pointing things out, asking questions... they are 2 and 4 and have incredible book attention spans! If my son (2) doesn't want to sit, that's fine, he can wander and do whatever but genreally he sits!

by on Sep. 28, 2011 at 6:36 PM

 My children love to snuggle up close to me on the couch as we read our "read-aloud" book each day.  When we read or discuss science or history, I allow them to draw or color.  These are things they can do and still focus on what I am discussing with them.  I don't allow actual toys or puzzles, because these things require more concentration on their part and would take their focus away from what I am reading.


busy mom

by on Sep. 28, 2011 at 9:07 PM

Whatever.  They just can't talk or make little noises.  

by on Sep. 28, 2011 at 11:05 PM
Silly putty or thinking putty are great for fidgety kids. Excersise ball has also been a life saver. The motion drives me nuts but my son has always been able to listen while in some sort of motion. My daughter is the sit still and listen quietly to the book kinda kid.
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