Reading is more than simply a necessary skill, but how do you get and keep kids reading? Teach a child the love of reading, and there will be nothing she can’t learn or explore. Yet, many children consider reading a chore not a beloved pastime.
Helping children develop a love of reading can be a challenge. During summer break, many children have no desire to open another book. While during the school year, extra reading can feel more like homework than fun.
Today I’m sharing 5 of my favorite ways to get and keep kids reading all year long, while also developing a lifelong love of reading.
Make it a contest.
Kids love to win, so why not make reading a contest?
- During the summer look for restaurants, bookstores, and libraries that reward kids for reading.
- Create a family challenge. Together set a goal- whether number of books read, minutes spent reading, or pages read. Create a chart to keep up with reading progress. When your family reaches the goal, celebrate with a special snack or event.
- Challenge your family to a reading contest. Divide into teams, determine how to track reading – by books, pages, or minutes, then decide on the prize. Maybe the losing team has to do the winners chores!
- Challenge peers. My children love to race their cousins to see who reads the most books in a year.
Find what your child loves to read.
Often the love of reading comes once a child discovers what he or she enjoys reading most. If your child says she hates to read, take a look at what type of book she’s reading and the content.
It took me a year to figure out that my daughter loves to read mysteries. My son disliked reading until he stumbled upon the history section at the library. He told me last month that if he ever wins the lottery the first thing he will buy is every war history book ever written! Another of my children much prefers scientific fact books over fiction.
Grab a variety of books, genres, and subjects- and if those don’t work keep trying! Be sure to choose a mix of fiction and nonfiction. Don’t forget magazines, graphic novels, and comics. A child who falls in love with reading graphic novels will move on to real novels at some point. Don’t fret, just let her read!
More unexpected books children often love are cook books and how to books. If your child has a hobby, passion, or is curious about a subject, find a book on it. Maybe it will be the one to spark that love of reading!
Make reading a privilege.
Rather than requiring bedtime reading, offer an extra 30 minutes of awake time if the time is spent reading. Buy a reading lamp that hooks to the bed to make bedtime reading feel special.
Afternoon nap time is a must in our home. However older children ‘get’ to read if they don’t want to nap.
Morning wake up time is no earlier than 7:30am here, but children who wake up before that time may read in bed until wake up time comes.
Never use reading as punishment. When my children got rowdy or started bickering I used to send them to find a quiet spot with a book. I realized I was making reading a punishment! I never want my children to think of reading negatively! Whoops.
Children are never too old for a family read aloud. Get a good book that the whole family can enjoy, then read it together. Why not choose a book that is also a movie? Read the book together first, then have a family movie night to watch the movie.
Take time to read for yourself too. It’s good for children to see Mom and Dad reading.
Find or create a book club.
Talking about reading is a great way to learn to love it- and to learn why others love it. Especially for my tweens, book club is a reason to love reading in itself. Gathering together to discuss a good book, with friends and yummy food is such a highlight in the month!
My children love to snacking Kellogg’s Dory Fruit Snacks while reading- the 80 count box from Sam’s Club® is the perfect choice for my big family too!
If you can’t find a local book club, check your school, homeschool co-op, and library. If none are offered, suggest starting one!
Book club can be just 2 or 3 children. Help your child start a once a month club for a few friends if no book clubs exist in your area. Consider a family book club if you have children close in age. When Mom and/or Dad also read and discuss books, children learn that adults enjoy reading too.
Do you have any other ideas to encourage children to love reading? I’d love to hear them
This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®, Kellogg’s and The J.M. Smucker Company but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #SamsClubBTS http://my-disclosur.es/OBstV