The more we can associate reading with fun, the better for our kids.
Reading with friends is awesome.
It makes reading very cool. And a public act - not just something you do at home in your bed. It also makes it more enjoyable! Some kids pick up on pictures better, other kids are really into certain words, and some kids will pick up on other text features like repeated text or literary devices.
Three Ways to Read with Friends
1. Have a reading playdate.
This goes for big kids too. And old kids, even. Everyone! Everyone can have a reading playdate.
You can meet at a library to pick out books together. Have an adult read pictures books to kids for 20-30 minutes - take turns with other parents. Big kids can read to each other. Old kids can read the same book while sitting side by side (book clubs for big kids, anyone?).
Make it an activity to do together.
2. Read out loud together.
Tell each other jokes. Jokes are really good for reading, timing and have a quick comprehension check built in (was that funny? did you get it?!).
Or, read two minute mysteries together and try to solve them.
3. Read your book while your children read theirs.
You can do this with little kids by giving them a big stack of books to get through and you sit and read your book. Bigger kids have a more sustained attention span, so they can read their own book from school or one they have at home.
I frequently read my book while Liliana pages through magazines. It's enjoyable for us both - and that's what we want!