With all of the distractions in today's world (You know, all the things kids want to do all summer: video games, Pokemon Go, movies, tv, electronic devices, etc.) it can be difficult to get them excited about reading. Reading every day is so important, especially during the summer! Here are 15 things you can try to help them pick up a book without all the whining and moaning.
1. Go to the library and have them sign up for their own library card.
2. While you're at the library, help children choose a wide variety of books. (Picture books, chapter books, nonfiction books, or comics.)
2. Take a family trip to the book store and allow children to pick out one book.
3. Find books that interest your child. (Does he play baseball? Find books on famous baseball players. Does she like princesses? Find all the books on princesses that you can.)
4. Make sure you have books that are your child's correct reading level. (If books are too hard or too easy to read, children will get overwhelmed or bored. Have you heard of the High Five Rule? Have your child read a random page in the book. Every time he comes to a word he doesn't know he holds up a finger. If there are more words on the page that he doesn't know than fingers on his hand, the book is too difficult.)
5. Read to Your Children. (This is one of the most important!)
6. Allow your children to see you read, and to see your love of reading. (This is one of my favorites! When children see that your to-do list goes out the window because you're lost in a book, they see the joy found in reading a book! Haha...."Sorry Honey, nothing got done today because I was being a good example for our kids." :) What is great, too, is to then recommend that book to your child after you have read it-if it is appropriate for them, of course!)
7. Have a set time each day to read.
8. Do not use reading time as a negative consequence for poor behavior.
9. Have a family read-a-thon! (Remember the snacks and treats!)
10. Have children participate in a neighborhood or school Book Club.
11. Make sure to have books in your home, a lot of them. Make sure they're easily accessible.
12. As a family, read the book then watch the movie. (Growing up my dad read "The Princess Bride" to us, and then we all went and watched the movie together. The book and the movie are still some of my all-time favorites!)
13. Have children try all the different genres. (My boys love fiction/fantasy books. My daughter likes those too, but she REALLY likes history books. I never would have found that out if I hadn't made her try one.)
14. Ask children about the books they're reading. (Be interested in what they're reading. Ask about characters, plot, setting, and their favorite part. Get excited about it! This helps them know you care, and it also helps you make sure the book is a good fit!)
15. If your child doesn't like a book after the first few chapters, do not make him finish it! (There is not a rule that says you have to finish a book if you start it. If he doesn't like it, have him put it down and pick a different one. Continuing to read a book he doesn't enjoy will only make him frustrated, and that's one of the reasons kids decided they don't like reading.)