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A love of reading just doesn’t happen. I have three boys: a teen, a tween, and a grade school-aged child. We started early on to help foster a love of reading. While each stage is different and, at times, tough to get kids to pick up a book, I have seen each one of them read, learn and express themselves through different mediums. One loves comics, one loves writing stories, and the other loves always having a book within reach. I would like to think all of this is due to always having books around and the kids watching our example of always reading.
I have put together 20 creative tips to get kids reading and “hopefully” stay reading…
- Start Early: Carry a soft chewable or board book in the diaper bag or attach one to the car seat.
- Let Them See You Read: Whether it is a magazine, newspaper, or book, set the example.
- Keep a Stash in the Car: Make sure to switch them out regularly, so they don’t get bored.
- Character Voices: When reading aloud, use different voices for the different characters.
- Keep Books Throughout the House: Every room should have a few books here and there.
- The Library is Your Friend
- Reading Time: Libraries offer story time for all ages
- Summer Reading Program: A fun way to keep kids reading over the summer with special prizes to earn along the way
- Sign Up for the Newsletter: Our library features listings of new releases for all ages and upcoming library events
- Bribe Them: I am not above bribery! Whether it is monetary or extra screen time, at least they are reading. I have offered my son $1 per chapter book, but he has to be able to answer questions about the book when finished.
- Have your Child Write a Story: Start with a little each night, then read it aloud at the end of the week.
- Swap a Book with a Friend
- Car Stash: Upgrade to books with facts. These have held his attention longer for my nine-year-old since they offer short bursts of information.
- Visit a Scholastic Warehouse Sale. I love these sales!! They offer all the best titles at up to 80% off, books for $1.00, slightly damaged deals, and discounts on the newest titles.
- Set Aside at Least 20 Minutes Before Bed for Reading
- Create a Reading Space: A beanbag, a cozy pillow… create an inviting place to read.
- Follow Their Favorite Authors: Is there a series that your child just can’t put down? Follow on their social media, or sign up for their newsletter to stay on top of new releases. Some authors offer games, printables, and more insights into the series on their website.
- Find What Interests Them: Your kids may not want to read Harry Potter but will pick up a book to find out more about that sports player or a how-to book.
- Catch the Movie: Read the book, then see the movie and have them try to spot the differences.
- Magazine Subscriptions: My thirteen-year-old loves sports so having a subscription to Sports Illustrated is a must. We keep several magazines in the kitchen so the kids can flip through while snacking.
- Technology: Try a Kindle eBook, Kindle App for iPhone, or iBooks: Since kids love their tech, try an eBook, you can download several books for free!
- Encourage writing stories, exchanging letters with a pen-pal or even drawing comics
- Switch it Up with Graphic Novels: These are great for kids who are hesitant to pick up a book. They are fast-paced, and the word-to-picture correlation provides an easy way to expand children’s vocabularies.
Other Ways to Get Involved in Reading:
⚉ Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library mails free books to kids aged 0-5. You can see if your neighborhood is registered, and then sign up to receive one free book a month! If your neighborhood is not registered, you can simply apply.
⚉ Check out the Monthly Subscription Book Clubs that are available at CrateJoy. They offer over 50 different clubs for all flavors! From children’s, young adult, religious, romance, and sci-fi, just to name a few.
⚉ Drop Everything and Read, or D.E.A.R, is a national month-long celebration of reading designed to remind folks of all ages to make reading a priority activity in their lives. D.E.A.R. programs have been held nationwide on April 12th in honor of Beverly Cleary’s birthday, since she first wrote about D.E.A.R. in Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (pages 40-41). As D.E.A.R. has grown in popularity and scope, the program has expanded to span the entire month of April!
⚉ First Book is a non-profit that provides new books and educational resources – for free and at low cost – to schools and programs serving children in need, from birth to age 18.
⚉ Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program motivates children to read by rewarding their reading accomplishments with praise, recognition, and pizza. The program is simple, flexible, fun, and free to use in your classroom!
⚉ Book Adventure is a fun, free way to motivate your child to read! Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read them offline, come back to quiz on what they’ve read, and earn prizes for their reading success.
Do You Have Any Tips on Getting Your Child to Read?