The second piece to pique your child’s interest in reading, after you have already chosen a compelling story that drives the imagination wild, is to add a physical element beyond the reading: acting, drawing, creating, imagining, dreaming, and solving. Get the body and mind working together to reinvent the story, take the story a step further into the future, or consider the story or characters in another way. Make it come to life!
I promised to revisit each book from my top ten list and provide an activity to do just that.
The first wild and wonderous story we will look at is, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak – “And the wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws.”
Maurice Sendak is a visionary and provides the best stories for children to love and play with. Who doesn’t have a few wild things roaming about the house on occasion? Well, what are you waiting for? Let that wild rumpus start!
Activity: Act it out!
One of my favorite activities after reading a book is acting out the story, especially when the characters are as full of life as Max and the Wild Things. Perfect for a rainy day when children are feeling a bit unruly. Perfect for a sunny day when a body just needs to move and wiggle. Be fierce, be wild, and then when you have danced into a frenzy, stop.
Then act out the main parts of the story. This really speaks to what your child remembers about the story. Remember how comprehension is the single most important skill your child will need to learn? This is a fun way to practice! In order to act, you have to know the characters, the sequence, the context, and be able to connect with them enough to improvise a little.
My little ones’ favorite part to act out in this story is the wild rumpus. I love that it gives them the chance to let go with wild abandon, but then have the ability to stop! And to know that Max can always go home. There is a safety in knowing that no matter how much of a wild thing you might behave like, you can always return to your own room, a safe home, a hot meal, and loving parents.
And, who am I kidding? It is just plain fun!
So, go one now and roar your terrible roars…
and gnash your terrible teeth…
and roll your terrible eyes…
and show your terrible claws…
until Max said, “Stop!” and eventually it was time to sail away back home.
Have you seen my top ten list of fantasy books to encourage children to read yet? From that post, we will be delving into each book further with a fun activity in a fantasy book series. Learn just how crucial it is for children to be read to and be read books that spark the imagination. There are a lot of ideas to get you and your child started with fairies, gnomes, goblins, pirates, dragons, and even wild things.