Growing up my siblings and I struggled with reading for various reasons and now that I have children of my own I didn’t want them to struggle like I did. So my husband and I worked early on with our kids to help them to love reading. We have tried a lot of tips and tricks over the years and have come up with the top six that really worked for our very different kids and their different needs.
These really do work! Ive done all these things with my own kids and I have to tell you the results are amazing. One of my sons is a natural born reader but is a little more on the lazy side and doesn’t like to have to work hard for anything. By making reading fun he really looks forward to reading time and exploring new books. My other son is super creative but reading doesn’t come as naturally for him he has to work a lot harder at it but he to loves reading because of how much we have encouraged him and watched what we said around him in this area. He has even taken up to writing his own stories now.
1. Watch What You Say: The first and most important lesson we learned with our own kids when it comes to reading is watching what we say in front of them. Always refer to your kids as book lovers/ bookworms no matter what their level is in reading. Only let them hear you say positive things when talking about them reading. “Sam is really taking off with pronouncing his words when reading. He is really becoming quite a book worm!” If they hear you say negative things then they will get discouraged and not even try because it’s a hopeless case.
2. Surprise Reading Spot: Making reading special and fun is super important. One way we like to make reading special is by surprising our kids by setting up a fun reading spot somewhere around the house or yard with pillows, blankets and a snack and they just love it and can’t wait to get to read in this special spot. Try a tent, teepee, or even make your kids a reading fort.
3. Read Along With The Audio Version: Do you remember reading along in books when you were a kid? To make reading more fun and special try downloading the audio version of your child’s book and let them read along with it. Also, a lot of local library’s loan out audio books now and even offer a nice selection online for easy download. So this doesn’t have to cost you anything to help your kids book come to life.
4. Bookworm Gift Basket: Surprise your child with a book worm gift basket for the summer or anytime really. Stuff the basket with bookmarks, a reading pillow, stuffed animals, snacks and of course a ton of awesome books! You can find all sorts of wonderful used books from thrift stores, yard sales or even your local library.
5. Library Bag: Get your kids a library bag! Just a simple tote that has a pocket for their library card and for you to put their name on it. That way they can keep their library books organized and together and it just makes going to the library that much more special and easier. Something so simple that makes a big difference.
6. Video Game Time: Now this is just straight out bribery but in our home our kids have to earn video game time. And one of the ways they can earn time is for every hour of reading they get that equal amount of time for video games. And it really does work.
Don’t forget that reading is supposed to be fun, that is the main point to getting your kids to love reading. These are just a few ways to make reading feel special and like a treat for your kids instead of a chore. Its also important to remember that you need to be reading yourself, reading to your kids, and taking them to the library often to let them pick out their own books.