It’s important to carve out quality time to spend with your kids each day. But there are some days when that’s easier said than done!

Our days can get so busy. And sometimes my children spend more time on their digital devices than usual. It happens. But one great strategy for finding time to spend together as a family? Reading!

Here are four ideas to inspire your family to spend more time together through the act of reading and reading aloud.

1Find a daily time to read.

Reading is a fun and enjoyable way to spend family time. If you are able to make it part of your daily or weekly routine, it will most certainly become a moment that everyone looks forward to. Bedtime is not necessarily a time that works well for all families. If that’s true for you, consider reading together at the breakfast table, after school, or in a quiet and cozy spot in the house.

2Get engaged with reading together.

There are lots of ways to make reading together enjoyable. You can take turns on each page, or assign a character to each family member. Try getting into the characters by using silly voices. Talking about the story is another way to share, discuss feelings, and bolster reading comprehension skills. Ask your child what they think of the story, or why a character made a certain decision. If they are unsure about what’s happening in the narrative, help them along by pointing out different details in the story. Soon, they’ll be able to draw the right conclusions, and you’ll both be proud.

3Read together or independently. Just read.

It’s all right if your child wants to “interrupt” and share during the story. What’s happening in the book might spark a memory or idea your child wants to tell you about. That’s a wonderful thing! Other times your kids may not be in a sharing mood. In fact, there may be days in which it’s better to invoke “reading time” rather than “reading together.” Each family member can set themselves up in their own spot, with their own book or reading material, and read independently. Afterwards, you can each discuss what you’ve each read, or let everyone be, and think about it on their own.

4Discover a wide range of reading materials.

Read fiction and nonfiction. Check out magazines, newspapers, and pamphlets, too. When choosing books from the library, consider topics your children have learned about in school and particularly enjoyed, like outer space or animals. Sometimes, you can find books that are slightly different or go deeper than the lessons covered in the classroom. Checking these books out is a way for reading skills to reinforce other subjects, leading to more overall academic success.

Reading is a lifelong skill and can be a cherished activity. By sharing stories as a family, you are setting in motion the ability for your child to use their imagination and learn so much more about the world around them. The time spent reading, learning, and sharing together is absolutely priceless. Your child will form positive memories and be encouraged to continue learning, even outside of school. That is a true gift that all family members will appreciate.