I don’t know about you but I love read aloud to my kiddos. I’ve read to them since before they were born and we haven’t slowed down yet. (Check out our February and March read aloud lists.) However as many of you know, kids don’t love to sit still for long or ever. So, over the past few years I’ve found ways to keep them quietly engaged nearby while I read and it works. Quiet time activities and reading aloud can be done simultaneously!
Now that Miss B is in Kindergarten, our read aloud time has increased greatly. We use Sonlight, which I absolutely adore, but at this stage it involves a lot of reading aloud by me. Top that with the fact that I still have preschool aged twins at home that enjoy the fun and sometimes silly picture books we check out at the library, and I’m guessing you get the idea. We. Read. A. Lot!
Miss B and Tuna love to snuggle up and read books with me, Shrimp not so
much. Books, reading, and reading aloud are way to important to just skip over because of short attention spans. So through trial and error, I’ve discovered that everyone can be happy, engaged, and even busy while I read.
I haven’t done extensive research on this, nor do I possess a degree in this field, I’m just sharing what was once a struggle, that is now a happy and extremely beneficial time for all of us!
By pairing quiet time activities with read alouds, an hour of reading can go by, and they will still be happily playing, engaged, AND listening! They are actually listening. I will pause briefly throughout to ask questions, ponder something, or even just get their thoughts on the topic and they have them. Every single one of them can add something to the conversation.
Sometimes if they are really interested in the book or pictures they will actually stop playing to come snuggle up and read with me.
Quiet Time Activities
The greatest thing about this epiphany is that it was an easy remedy. I went through our toys and pulled out all of our quiet type toys. I placed them in containers or boxes and I rotate them every week or so.
Each week I pull out 3-5 new quiet time activities. When it’s time to read we all gather in the living room, they pull out their activity of choice, and I curl up with our books!
Here are some of our favorite quiet time activities:
- Magnetic Blocks
- Wooden Building Blocks Set
- Picasso Tiles
- Bristle Blocks
- Interlocking Disks
- Wooden Pattern Blocks
- Color Matching Mosaic Pegboard Puzzle
- Magnetic Wooden Fishing Game and Puzzle
- Aqua Doodle Writing Mat
- Coloring Books and Crayons
- Counting Bears (suprisingly this is a favorite)
- Legos (of course)
What are your favorite quiet time activities? What do you do for those little ones that just don’t want to sit still for books? I’d love to hear your ideas! If you have any questions about how we do read alouds, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Until next time,