Sense-able Summer Reading
I once ate my way through a jar of pickles while reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Getting my teeth and nose into that story got it up off the page and made it more real for me. Even today, the tangy crunch of a dill pickle takes me straight to the streets of New York, and the lessons I learned there, though Francie, about poverty.
If you want to triple the impact of your kids’ summer reading, peek over their shoulder when they’re curled up with a great book (from the stacks you have all over the place, no doubt, or—knowing you—from your assigned reading list!) and see where they are in the story. Then “sensorize” the scene by slipping an appropriate snack next to them, or an important object into their hand, or by playing music (quietly) that goes with that chapter.
It doesn’t take much – for instance:
- a whiff of vanilla or liniment while Anne of Green Gables is baking her infamous cake
- a nibble of cheese while Heidi is out with the goats
- some minstrel music while Adam of the Road is earning his supper
- a compass to hold while Nat Bowditch is struggling to Carry On
- underground water while Axel is dying of thirst on his Journey to the Center of the Earth (get the bottle label here!)
Your kids will think you’re wonderfully in tune with their fictional worlds, which of course you are. You’ll create a sweet and bonding memory to be filed under “fun things my mom used to do that made me feel loved” (even sweeter if they’re reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). And you’ll be helping to give them a lifelong, sensory connection to reading great books.
All such good things!
Here’s to a beautiful summer of lying in hammocks and on docks and under tables reading wonderful, adventuresome stories made all the more memorable by YOU.