Let’s be honest here, not every kid loves to read. I know, I know, incomprehensible. For some parents, it is like pulling teeth to get their child to actually pick up a book. Been there, done that. That’s right, I am a parent to a reluctant reader. Now, if you do not have children yet, I’m sure you are thinking to yourself “that will never happen to me, my children are going to love reading just like me.” To which I would say, “good luck with that.” This post isn’t just about reluctant readers though, these can also be used to find ways to get your kids to read more in general.
Let’s talk about some ways you can get your kids to read more…
» Let THEM choose what they want to read
Does your kid like to read comic books and graphic novels? Let them! Do they live for sports articles? Perfect! I am a firm believer that reading is reading. I love fiction, however my son does not. He would much rather read nonfiction: sports books, books on historical events, biographies of people he is interested in, etc. I had to learn to take a step back and let him read the types of books that he likes to read. If he does read fiction, he is a big fan of graphic style novels like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.
» Let them read on their tablets
Let’s face it. Kids these days are glued to their tablets. Why not capitalize and have them do something productive? There are all kind of ebook apps that offer free ebooks. Here are a few suggestions → 10 Free Reading Programs for Kids on Mobile Devices
» Designate a “reading time” in your daily schedule
Choose a time that works for your family. In our house, reading time is before bed. My son used to have an 8:30pm bed time on school nights, but I made a deal with him that if he read 30 minutes before bed, he could stay up until 9pm. He gets something (a later bedtime) and we get something (him reading), so it’s a win-win situation. Before bedtime is reading time for my daughter as well. She knows that after her bath, she gets to choose a book that either her father or I will read to her.
» Pair books with the film adaptations
Make a deal that if your child reads the book, you will take them to see the movie adaptation in theaters. If the movie is already out, rent the movie and have a family movie night. Here is a list of over 80 children’s books that have been made into movies → Read the Book & Watch the Movie
» Reward program
Come up with some sort of rewards program for completed reading.. Sticker chars, reading logs, and even these fun Punch card bookmarks, are all great ways to record reading. When a certain amount of reading is completed, come up with some type of reward. For example, 30 minutes of reading time = 30 minutes of screen time or reading daily through the week = ice cream night.
» Read together
Read TO your kids. This is not just for pre-school aged children and younger, but older kids too. Just because an older child can read themselves doesn’t mean you have to stop reading to them. Reading to your child allows you to share the experience with them. It can also open up dialogue. Remember when I mentioned earlier that my son is not big on fiction? Well he does enjoy having fiction read aloud to him. It is great bonding time. Another idea is to have older kids read books to their younger siblings.
» Show an interest in what they are reading
Ask them questions about the books they are reading. Stay up to date on any new releases by their favorite authors, series, genres etc. etc. Always be on the lookout for new books that may interest them.
» Visit the library
Visit the library once a week. Talk to the librarians and get book recommendations based on your child’s interests. Look into any children’s’ programs offered, many libraries have story times, book clubs, summer reading programs, or you could even do a library scavenger hunt.
» Be a role model
Monkey see, monkey do. Parents are their children’s biggest role models. Don’t expect that your kids will want to read if they never see you reading.
» Change up where they read
Does your child typically read in bed or on the couch? Grab a blanket and go outside to read. What is better than reading outside under the shade of a tree?
» Get your child a magazine subscription
Reading magazines count as reading too. Here is a great list of magazine recommendations by age → Magazines for Kids of All Ages
»Listen to audiobooks in the car
Need some suggestions? I found a great suggestion list here → Best Audiobooks for a Roadtrip with Kids
» Sign preschool aged children up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
If you have kids under the age of 5, sign them up for this program and they will receive a FREE book every month until they turn 5. Visit the website to see if this program is offered in your area. You can read my post about this awesome program here → Kids’ Corner: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library