5 simple ways to help dads have fun sharing stories

Published on: 13 June 2023

As part of the Dads Make Stories Magic campaign, we're sharing five top tips to help dads and their children enjoy books together...

Dad Louie and his son Tommy sharing a story as they sit on an allotment, with other families in the background

Find out more about Dads Make Stories Magic

Reading with your child is a great way to bond and have fun together.

Our research shows that the more people who read to a child, the better... which is why it's great for dads to get involved!

You can have a new adventure every time you pick up a book (and it's a fantastic way to enjoy time together without screens). As well as being fun, it can help you feel closer because stories can spark chats and get children talking about how they're feeling.

On top of all that, books help children to understand the world around them – and reading stories together can create memories that last. It's never too early to start!

If you'd like a few ideas to help you have fun with stories, read on...

1. Make it personal

Don't feel you have to stick to the words on the page. You could swap in names to make the story personal to you and your child – why not make them the star of the story, or set it in your home town?

2. Bring it to life

Try using a soft toy to tell the story or experiment with silly voices (children will love hearing you putting on a new voice – the sillier, the better!) If your child can already read, perhaps take turns reading paragraphs.

Ask questions, too – you could end up having some very surprising conversations about what your child would do if they were the hero of the story...

3. Create a reading space

Get your children involved in creating a fun or cosy space to read stories. Gather blankets and cushions to make a reading fort, or find a comfy chair or beanbag and decorate the area with fairy lights, pictures or anything else you like. You could even find a reading spot in your garden or local park.

4. Make up your own story

If you want to create your own story, go for it! Maybe use your favourite characters or illustrations as inspiration. Or if you're sharing a picture book, don't worry about the words - your child will enjoy just sitting with you and looking at the pictures. You don't have to read a book cover to cover either – feel free to dip in and out.

5. Take books on the move

Books aren't just for bedtime – you can share a story anytime, anywhere. Why not take a book with you to the park, on the bus or in a cafe... and see if you can spot things from the story in your surroundings.

And by the way...

There is no wrong way to share books. Don't worry if sometimes your child wanders off or gets distracted – that's completely normal.

So pick up whatever you and your child fancy reading – it could be non-fiction, a picture book, a pop-up book, a comic or anything else that you'll enjoy – and start making reading magic...

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We want to reach one million minutes of dads reading with their children! Head to the Dads Make Stories Magic website to sign the pledge today.

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