Make Reading a Big Adventure!
5 Ways to Make Reading a BIG Adventure
We’re half way through summer (sad) and your kids have either been chipping away at that summer reading list or they’ve been engaged in less ‘academic’ pursuits and you’re feeling the need to get back at it. For most kids, a summer reading list or big stack of books can seem intimidating, even dry, especially for visual learners. Visual kids thrive when they are actively involved in the learning process and it needs to include opportunities for them to be creative.
Here are 5 ways to make reading an adventure:
Choose a theme – I remember the summer two of my daughters were reading – The Island of the Blue Dolphin. They were so enthralled with the book it seemed to fill every moment of their summer play. They read the book, watched the movie and then watched a documentary on dolphins. They drew dolphins, played island in the backyard and were delighted when a stream at the local park added a touch of water realism to their fantasy.
To pick a theme for summer start with your child’s reading list. Is there a book or theme that stands out? Look at what movies are coming out, but chose a movie with plenty of potential and content range. Perhaps Rio 2 – so your kids can draw and learn about birds? Or maybe Madagascar – with lots of animal characters.
Now comes the fun part:
Watch it – Have your kids watch the movie on their own or with friends. Be sure it’s not just another movie. Make it a special. Make it an event. If you’re going African, make snacks, wear costumes, listen to music or decorate accordingly.
- Read it – Find a few books whose characters are African animals or about children living in Africa. From picture books to chapter books – your local librarians are great at finding the perfect book for the age and interest of the child.
- Learn More – Check out a documentary on animals of Africa. There are tons of possibilities. This is VERY significant because kids need to see and learn about the REAL animals the cartoon characters are based on.
- Draw it – Pull out the paper, pencils, markers or paint and have at it. Use our ‘How to Draw’ books or videos to help build confidence, or find some pictures to draw from. It’s hard to draw an elephant or cheetah when you don’t know what it looks like – so a little helpful information will inspire hours of drawing fun.
- Act it out – turn your creative kids loose and they’ll know what to do. No direction or intervention required. Whether in the backyard, living room or on a make shift stage – they’ll enjoy making what they’ve seen and learned come alive.
Here’s a link to a How to Draw an Elephant video. It’s free. It’s fun and it’s easy. And it’s a great way to get this party started!
Tell us what your kids have been up to – or what new adventures this inspires.
I’d love to hear.
Founder and CEO of Young Rembrandts and Author of Being Visual