'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 13 July 2012

Librarian's Shelf: Extending the Reading Experience

Reading can be a wonderfully fun activity and there are simple ways to extend the enjoyment further. Many library story times include craft or a similar activity. Extending the reading experience with a related activity can show concepts in practice or simply help cement the story in your child’s memory. This is something you can do at home, too.

You’ll find books at the library with ideas for reading-related activities, and there are plenty of websites with ideas. Some publishers even provide downloadable activities to complement their books. Here are a couple of examples of activities to inspire you to create your own homemade story time activities:


Sounds and music feature in many stories, like Crocodile Beat and Herman and Rosie.

It’s easy to make a simple musical instrument by joining two paper plates or paper cups together and filling them with rice or pasta. Seal them carefully (so the contents don’t spill everywhere) and your child can decorate the outside using scraps of coloured paper.

Alternatively, get your child to draw a picture of one of the characters from the story playing their own musical instrument.

Sound effects

If you’re reading a book about ducks, like Daisy to the Rescue and Ben and Duck, finish up by singing Five Little Ducks.

If you want to go even further, find an old glove and make a puppet by sticking a felt duck shape to each of the glove’s fingers. You can either glue or sew the ducks on, or use velcro so they can be actually taken off as the song progresses.

Kids will love seeing the ducks disappear and reappear as they sing along.

Sarah Steed is our Consultant Librarian and reviewer. A former Children's and Young Adult Librarian, she has more than 18 years' experience working in public libraries. Sarah comes from a family of readers and has shelves full to bursting with books.