Need ideas on how to encourage children to read?
There are tons of tips and pointers, I would try them all. All kids are motivated differently, so what works for one, might not work for another. Don’t wait though, get started today!
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my 26-year-old kid living in my basement. I don’t even have a basement. But I think you get my drift. We all want our kids to grow up, well adjusted. We want our kids to be happy, successful citizens. Let me clarify that.
Why should I encourage my kids to read more…and how do I do this?
Well, first of all, the most obvious reason comes to mind. Like they need to read for school, to study, pass tests and hopefully graduate.
Whatever my kids do in life, I want them to be proud of it and do it well.
If kids don’t learn how to read well at a young age, it is very difficult to catch up later. Most kids will just realize they are behind and lose interest. It’s so sad to think of how many children get lost in the system. A child most likely isn’t going to reach out for help. They are embarrassed, shy and scared.
Teachers cannot do it alone. It is critical for parents to encourage children to read.
More now today than ever, distractions are a constant hurdle.
We all can see how tablets, cell phones, and others screens are occupying our children’s attention. All you have to do look around and you will see so many children just staring at their device. Not really being present In their current situation.
When my kids are in their screen zone, a tornado could rip the house apart.
If their tablet or phone is in their hands, they wouldn’t have a clue. I’m not alone in this struggle. It is quite a challenge balancing how to limit screen time.
Adults are just as bad if not worse. Next time you go to a restaurant look around. You might see more people staring at their phone rather than engaging In real conversation. It’s quite sad, they are truly missing out on enjoying the moment.
I will admit, it is easy to get caught up with a tablet or cell phone and time just passes. We don’t even realize it. It’s easy, we don’t have to think and that is why It is so easy for kids to do the same. They don’t understand the long-term effects. That is why it’s so important to teach our kids at a young age that reading is fun!
Reading sparks creativity in a way that handheld devices cannot.
Reading is an exercise for your brain! It is a muscle and just like all muscles, it needs a good workout! Set aside time every day to read a good book. Stretch that big brain of yours and read different genres. Step out of your comfort zone. To learn more about how reading sparks creativity click here
Reading improves concentration.
This is because when you read a book, you are forced to concentrate on one thing only. I know my vocabulary is improved when I read more! My kindle reader is so helpful for that. When I see a word I am unfamiliar with I highlight it and get the definition. I love that!!!
So how do I get them excited about reading?
Be a leader! Children model what they see.
Let them know that you yourself set aside time to read. Show them how much you like to read! It doesn’t have to be a giant novel, just read a magazine if you want! The idea is that they see you reading and not watching TV or playing with your phone all the time. We can tell them to read ‘til we’re blue in the face. Leading by example is always the best. For tips on how to implement quiet time or down time, check out our post – Quiet Time For Kids – We All Benefit!
Find a balance. Don’t pressure them and make reading a punishment.
Do put a limit on their screen time though. Be prepared for a bit of whining. Nobody loves change, this is normal. Once they get used to it, it won’t seem like such an ordeal to pick up a book. And when you find that perfect genre for them, good luck pulling them away from it! That’s a good problem to have!
Fill your house with books!
Have a good selection for them to pick from. Go to the library, go to the bookstore, whatever! Just get some books in your house. Make sure they have a say in what books you get. We all are more excited to read books that we choose, right? Making it easy is one of the best ways to help children read.
Rewards and incentives!!
Whatever it takes until it comes naturally. If you want to be sneaky, have the rewards be a trip to the bookstore. This way the reward itself even encourages more reading. When my kids were younger, I had reading incentive charts. They loved to put the stickers on the chart and see their progress!
A trip to the bookstore is fun for everyone, you’ll find something for yourself too! Your little one will see all the other books available which is great! Being surrounded by so many books is a wonderful way to get excited about reading even more.
Ask your friends if they have any reading incentive ideas that have worked for them. Friends and family that have personal experience with this are a fantastic resource.
See if your child’s school has a reading incentive program or a reading club!
My kid’s elementary school has a millionaires club for kids that have read over 1 million words. They also have Battle of the Books competitions. Many schools participate in AR reading programs (accelerated reading programs). I love to read week is a big celebration for schools across the country. This also is the same week of Dr. Seuss’s birthday- March 2nd.
If your child goes to daycare, ask if they have any reading incentives. They might have “book show and tell”! I’m sure they have downtime just for reading too. You could even volunteer an hour and goes in as a special guest and offer to read to the kids! Of course, you’d want to okay this with the daycare. Your kid will feel on top of the world!
Start your own family book club!
You can pick a book, read it and discuss it! Just like its fun to see a movie with someone and chat about it later. The same goes for books!
Find book series for your little reader!
They will be excited and motivated to finish book one, knowing a second one is just waiting for them! Book series keep the reader interested, who doesn’t love a cliffhanger? Try to have the following books in a series available for your child so they don’t skip a beat.
Library field trips are awesome!!
They are great for the whole family and so relaxing. Libraries are quiet and you can spend hours there! I love to get myself a big mocha, take the kids to the library and get lost in books. Libraries have comfy reading areas all over, especially in the kid areas.
People!! Libraries are a FREE field trip!! You can check out like a gazillion books for FREE! Ok, maybe not a gazillion, but about 25-50 books depending on the library. I never exaggerate…never ever!
Oh yeah, pick up a cute book bag! Not a backpack from school, but a bag just for library books. A friend of ours made a book bag for our daughter with some of her fabric fabrics. She loves to take this to the library. It is her special bag, and so functional too!!
Get started today! Turn off the gadgets, snuggle up with a good book and get reading!
In the words of Dr. Seuss, “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!”
I hope you found this helpful and inspiring! Read on my friends!
Have a wonderful day, Kris 🙂