Does your child resist reading? Try this YouTube activity!

So many kids that enter preschool or kindergarten age resist sitting to a book.

And some kids will listen to a book when the adult reads, but won’t pick up a book and look through it alone.

But did you know that by having kids be able to SIT And ATTEND to listen to a story is a key skill to have kids be successful in Kindergarten. And, if they can SIT on their OWN and LOOK through a book, that’s another major win!

But getting them to do one of these things can be difficult. Kids today are so fascinated with videos and screens.

There is a way to get kids to do both. That’s why in this blog I’m going to share a simple way you can use videos to teach this skill.

Start with the HOW to read a book.

In the education world we call modeling HOW to read a book a read aloud.

Read alouds are those times when an educator reads a book to kids, but they have a goal and intentionality of some kind of lesson or focus in the purpose of why they read the book aloud. There are many benefits to a read aloud and so many fun ways to do them.

If your child is not “attending” to the book, then the best way is to focus the goal on engagement.

Since so many kids are fascinated with screens have you ever thought about recording a book with them on a video?

Recording and Modeling

Why not use it to your advantage?

Try to record yourselves during a short book and see what happens. Then try it again with a longer book and add some interaction or reflection questions.

Some reflection questions might be:

  • “What happened to (the character)?”
  • “What do you think might happen next?”
  • “What would you do if you were …?”
  • “How do you think (the character) felt?”

In this video my son and I tried a new idea using an app to make us look like we’re holograms. We read Mortimer by Robert Munsch. We had so much fun!

Mortimer by Robert Munsch book cover

Why are Robert Munsch books effective?

Robert Munsch has been one of my favorite children’s authors over all these years. I got to watch him read one of his books to a kindergarten class back in the 90s and saw the way he engaged the children.

He definitely didn’t have any expectations for the kids to listen quietly. Instead, he got them fully interactive in a call and response type of ritual. For example, he would read a line and encourage the kids to read with him.

The book was repetitive so the kids knew what to expect and how to participate.

I was in awe at how well the class paid attention and loved how actively engaged they were.

bunch of children making silly faces

Captivating Attention While Reading

As I got my teaching degree and began working with kids I couldn’t help but copy Robert’s style.

Years later I still love to infuse my silliness with kids to capture their attention.

I’ve probably done hundreds of read alouds in educational settings and countless times with my son since that initial observation of Robert in action.

child sticking out his tongue

And what I learned is that kids copied my enthusiasm!

With various kids I especially loved reading Robert Munsch’s books. Whether it was a 4 year old or an 8 year old, they all love them, And this Mortimer is one of the classics. Now my son loves his books too!

That’s why this YouTube video is a treasure.

We used a filter on PhotoBook (an App on the Macbook), but you could try this with any kind of filter you have on a movie app. If you have some fun filters you can change up the recordings to add some extra silliness to it.

What’s important to note is that the learning didn’t stop with this video.

New Movie Night Idea

Later when I was busy, I saw my son recording and reading the book to his stuffed animal. He was independent! Even at 5! He couldn’t decode the words, but he was reading!

Getting your child to practice reading (even if it’s picture reading) to their stuffed animals?

Can you imagine that?

Of course you don’t have to upload the videos to YouTube. You could just get them to record and save them and put them on your TV screen.

two kids eating popcorn

Maybe one night you can snuggle to some popcorn making your child’s reading be the star of the movie night!

I would love to start some more creative reading on my Kids Move and Learn YouTube channel so please reach out and let me know if you’d like to share a video.

For other recommended books check out this page or if you’re looking for more ways to teach reading check out some of the other literacy resources.

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