Winter in Middle Tennessee — the days are shorter and darkness falls way too soon. I have had to start finding more activities that are inside but not screen related. This can be hard when you have an 8 year old and a 13 year old. Let’s be honest they would rather pick on each other then get along most days. However, I have recently gone back to an “oldie but goodie” activity that the whole family enjoys – reading aloud to my children.

reading aloud to childrenWe have started reading aloud together again. I know I know it sounds crazy to do with kids who are getting older. Kids and adults can all benefit from reading aloud. We as parents tend to stop reading aloud when kids start to read on their own. But kids are never too old to be read to, I honestly love being read to, as an adult even. Not to mention it is a low cost way to spend time together away from screens. You can easily check a book out from a library, borrow from a friend, or dust a classic off your own shelf. Snuggle up under some cozy blankets and let the words wash over you all.

We are currently reading as a family the Harry Potter series. We are on book three now. We check out the illustrated editions from the library. Each night we try to read a few pages before bed. We have even started reading it on longer car rides when the other parent is driving. It is so much fun to experience the books together. Then, when we get done with each book we order some pizza and watch the movie together. The kids have never seen the movies or read the books so it is their first time. It makes for a great family night after each book. I would highly recommend starting with books that are also movies. It is an easy way to keep you all motivated to finish. Your kids will beg to see the movie. There are so many great books that have movies!

Reading aloud is a great way to work on comprehension skills. You can talk to each other about what is happening. You can start each sessions asking what happened the night before. We have to stop sometimes and explain vocabulary which is another great skill you will be working on while having fun. Reading aloud also is just fun and memory making for each family member. It is a way to step outside of what is happening in your family and go on an adventure while never leaving your couch.

I hope you will all find a good book and start reading out loud again as a family.