How to Read to Kids who can’t sit still!!!

1. Read between the laps. For Mother’s Day, my awesome Hubs did a skit with Sweet Pea, acting out all of “Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?” He would read one page, and then they would run a lap around the living room pretending to be whatever animal was featured on that page. (Favorite: Panther that says “meow.” lol.) Anyway, there are tons of books out there that make it easy to do an action for every page of the book. You can act out animal movements with Eric Carle books. Move different body parts for body part books. Have a color scavenger hunt for color-themed books. The ideas could go on forever. Basically, if you can’t fight the wiggling, encourage it even more.

2. Strike when their hands and mouths are busy.
 Mealtimes are prime time for reading to hyper kids. They’re strapped to a chair; their hands are busy; their mouths are busy. Prop that book up behind their bowl and take advantage of sitting time.

3. Abbreviate. 
Nobody said you needed to read every word on a page. If you’re struggling to get through a whole paragraph, just point out the bear, say “Look! A bear!” and turn the page. You’re still building language and literacy skills.

4. Play to their interests. 
Hit up your local library and pick books with topics you know your child will enjoy. If your kid is currently obsessed with trains (mine is), she might be a little more open to hearing a book about trains than, say, bunnies.

5. Get books that won’t work on your Kindle. 
I’m talking interactive books, a godsend for any toddler, but especially ones that need incentive to sit still. What child doesn’t love to lift flaps, pull tabs and pet fur? Interactive books can keep an otherwise antsy kid engaged.

6. Shoot for the calm. You know your kid’s quietest, cuddliest time of day–maybe right after nap or maybe right before breakfast. That is your golden hour 5 minutes to read.

7. Embrace your Inner Broadway Diva. Sing-songy books are just more fun, especially if they have motions like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” or “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider.” Let your toddler out of your lap to do the motions; he’ll still benefit from hearing the words sung aloud.

8. Think outside the book. Read street signs on your walk. The label on his breakfast cereal. The grocery list in your back pocket. Opportunities to read are everywhere–and you can fit in a lot of little words here and there, even with a super-hyper kid.