TRC Read to Kids

Welcome to The Reading Connection’s blog, where you’ll find the best guidance on reading aloud to kids. Whether you are a TRC Read-Aloud volunteer, parent or student, the book themes and crafts ideas, child development guidelines and recommended websites will expand your world. For 25 years, The Reading Connection has worked to improve the lives of at-risk kids by linking the magic of reading to fun experiences that inspire a passion for learning. Visit our website at

Monday, February 22, 2016

We like to move it, move it!

Kids need to MOVE! It doesn't matter whether they've been snowed in or sitting all day at school. Including movement in every Read-Aloud gets blood circulating, bringing oxygen to the brain and helping kids stay engaged. Movement also makes many kids more comfortable. And it’s fun! 

Here is a collection of our favorite movement ideas from previous blog posts, plus a couple of new ideas.

Bubble Wrap Dance Party

That's right: put bubble wrap on the floor, turn on some music and dance! TRC has lots of bubble wrap on hand at the office for you to use at your next Read-Aloud. 

Read some books about music, dancing or noise and get dancing! The kids will love the satisfying snap the bubble wrap makes at they cut the rug.

Some days, you might be looking for a more serene option than a bubble popping dance party. Why not try yoga? Have the kids take five or six deep breaths, stretching their hands high on the inhale and rounding their hands back to "heart center" during the exhale. That kind of movement works wonders in calming down a group of kids. 

For more kid-friendly yoga moves, here are some poses that elicit group movement and concentration: 
Use these yoga warm-ups to imitate things kids are familiar with. such as a tree and a pea.  
Finish with a seated position so kids are ready to listen to a story right after finishing.

For more detailed instructions on how to incorporate yoga in your Read-Aloud, check out this blog post or TRC's Volunteer Central (search for "yoga" under Read-Aloud themes).

One of our favorite sources of movement activities is a book entitled Energizers!  88 Quick Movement Activities that Refresh and Refocus by Susan Lattanzi Roser. Many of these activities have accompanying videos online so you can see how they work in action. 

To see some of our Energizer favorites, including "Tootie-Tah," "Go Bananas!" or "Dum Dum Dah Dah," check out this blog post.

Active Themes

Another way to get the kids moving is to choose a Read-Aloud theme that is active by its very nature. Try a Read-Aloud about soccerrunningdance or ninjas. Even a Read-Aloud about cooking or painting gets hands and brains working. Or look for books related to your theme that encourage movement and get the kids moving to them while you read. 

Move at every Read-Aloud

Include movement in any Read-Aloud, regardless of theme, with the following:  

Incorporating movement into your Read-Aloud in any way will improve the experience for the kids. It will meet their physical needs, allowing them to enjoy listening to stories, and demonstrate to them that reading doesn't always have to be a sedentary activity.

To receive credit for this online training, please fill out the form here.

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