Why Read Aloud Time is Drawing Time for Kids
Creative Family Living Drawing Kids Arts and Crafts Activities

Why Read Aloud Time is Drawing Time


Why Read Aloud Time is Drawing with Kids Time

Maia likes to read with me and so we often take turns reading and listening.

We do this for some of her homework books, even. I don’t know if it’s strictly kosher but she’s a great reader so I don’t worry about it.

We often combine reading time with drawing time or sewing time.

Combining read-aloud time and drawing time seems like a good way to keep the non-reader’s hands and body occupied. One of us fidgets and flips and does all kinds of gymnastics otherwise (not naming names, of course) and the other of us has a hard time reading when this is going on.

This post contains affiliate links. So long ago we started hand sewing, doing embroidery, finger knitting, knitting with needles, and drawing during our reading sessions. Sometimes we go through stretches where Maia finger knits yards and yards of yarn. Or I embroider designs on wool felt.

Turtle in Paradise Book Lately though, we’ve been doing a lot of reading and drawing.

A couple of days ago, we finished reading Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm* and drew up a storm.

*SUCH a wonderful book for reading aloud! It’s aimed at 8 to 12 year olds according to the Amazon listing, but Daphne (age 5) and I (age 38) enjoyed it just as much as Maia did. We liked it so much that I’m planning to give some of Jennifer Holm’s other books a try soon.

Magazine Collage Drawing Prompts for Kids

I read while the kids did magazine collage challenge drawings and drew with oil pastels.

Oil Pastel Drawings and Scratch Art in the Sketchbook

Maia took her turns reading while I drew with oil pastels (and experimented with scratch art designs) in my somewhat neglected “daily” sketchbook.

Magazine Drawing Prompt

Daphne didn’t do any of the reading, but she drew and drew.

Daphnes Oil Pastel Drawings Made During Read Aloud Time

And drew some more.

Drawing plus wikki stix

And even added some Wikki Stix designs to her oil pastel art.

Drawing Time While Reading Aloud

Later in the evening, Maia did a pen drawing while we finished the book.

I’ve always been a doodler and liked to doodle in my notebook during class growing up and in college. It helps give my hand and body something interesting to do while I listen. Plus, as a visual person, I think it helps me to retain what I hear.

As for Maia, to say she’s an active kid might be an understatement. She always seems to be moving and fidgeting.

Products for the Active Child

We have a wobble seat and a mini trampoline and a yoga ball for her inside and swings, stilts, hula hoops, jump ropes, and even a slackline for her outside. (And Daphne, too, of course!) She does gymnastics and has taken dance and aerial arts in the past.

She just needs to move.

A lot.

Telling her to sit still is hard (and not usually effective) but giving her something to do with her hands, whether finger knitting, sewing, or drawing seems to help.

Drawing with Kids while Reading Out Loud

I think reading time and drawing time go hand in hand wonderfully and recommend giving this combo a try with your kids, whether they are extra active or not.

Drawing with Kids while Reading Out Loud

Here are some drawing and art ideas we’ve done while reading aloud ::

Pin It for Later ::

Reading Time and Drawing with Kids can go hand in hand


  • Reply
    April 10, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Oh my goodness, I LOVE this post. I am also someone who needs to have my hands busy to really listen, so I love it on that level. But, I was also a youth services librarian before I left to stay home with my kids and I love, love, love the idea of family art and read aloud time. Plus, I love Jennifer Holm’s work, too.
    And, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of Maia’s strength as a reader comes from being read to so often. It’s a great way to build fluency and vocabulary and to get an ear for the pacing and tone of a book.
    Thank you for this post!

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      April 11, 2015 at 8:33 am

      So glad you like this post, Laura! And, as a former youth services librarian, I’m glad you second the idea of family art time and read aloud time!

  • Reply
    April 11, 2015 at 1:48 am

    Maia draws very well! ;)

  • Reply
    Meredith @ Homegrown Friends
    April 11, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    I adore this post Jean! We are big movers in our home. I sit on my son’t bed and read the books while he draws, bounces and plays with legos.

  • Reply
    April 11, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    What a wonderful post! We used to embroider together while listening to audio books, now I want to try the drawing :)
    Thank you!

  • Reply
    JFB Reading Centre
    April 11, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    I love things here because they are very artful.I am going to try combining our reading time with drawing for the first time.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    April 12, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    What a wonderful idea. I am going to try this with my very wiggly two year old who lo es listening to stories but bounces everywhere….

  • Reply
    June 8, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    I love this idea. I just have a question….how much does she HEAR of the book? I wouldn’t mind doing this with my kids, but I wonder how much they’d pay attention to the book. I was just thinking that if I did this with my 12 yr old, he might make it thru a book. He has a habit of starting a book, but then going to another. He has about 5 he’s started now. However, if we did this, how much of the book would he retain? (Hope I made sense in my jibberish :) )

  • Reply
    Anna \ The Imagination Tree
    June 8, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    This is so wonderfully simple and perfectly genius all in one, Jean! Thank you for broadening the creativity and artistic possibilities in our home and giving us so many lovely memories to make together as a family xxx

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