I didn’t discover the joys of reading for fun until the summer before entering the fourth grade. Just think of all the reading time I missed. (Click Here to read how the Universe intervened with the help of my next-door neighbor, Ms. Crabtree.)
When it comes to getting kids excited about reading, there are a few tried and true methods that parents can use to help. From making reading time fun to finding the right books for your child’s interests, here are five ways to get your child excited about reading.
Start Early (The Earlier the Better)
Start early to get your child excited about reading by reading to them every day even while still a baby. In fact, I know many mothers (and fathers) who start reading to their baby while she’s still in the womb. As they grow older, they will see that reading is important and can be fun. You can also ask them to read to you. This will help them to see that reading can be a two-way activity and that you value their reading skills. When you finish reading with them for the day, take a few minutes to talk about the book. This shows them that you are interested in what they are reading.
Show not Tell
It is a common writing tip that many experienced writers share with aspiring authors. It’s true in reading as well. Let your kids see you reading. Children learn by example. If they see you reading, they’ll be more likely to read themselves. One way to do this is to schedule time each night to read together.
Make reading fun. If your child is resisting reading, try to make it more fun for them. Get them a special blanket to read under, let them read in their pajamas, or turn reading into a game. Consider reading the characters of a story in different voices. Don’t worry if the voices sound odd to you. Your kids will love it.
The Library is Your Friend
Another way is to take them to the library or bookstore and let them pick out their own books especially if they have their own library card. This will give them a sense of ownership and pride in their reading material. And, of course, books make great birthday and Christmas presents.
Finally, make sure to praise your child when they do read and encourage them to keep up the good work!
If your kids love animals and/or you want to encourage them to grow up being caring and responsible stewards of the earth and all its inhabitants, I recommend you add my Zak Bates Eco-Adventure series to your TBR List.
Here are some links to websites with more information about reading with your child:
Parents, what are additional ways you’ve found work to encourage your kids to read? Share them in the comment section.