All three of my kids love to read. Sometimes, other parents are amazed by that and say that they wish their kids would love reading too. While it’s true that some people may never love to read (ugh, that breaks my heart to write because I LOVE reading), there are some ways that you can make reading more fun for your kids and help them along the way to being a bookworm!
1. Have them read every night – This is one of the most important things we did for our kids, starting at an early age. When they were younger, I would lay in bed and read to each of them. As they got older and could read to themselves, I would still either lay with them and take turns reading with them or let them read on their own each night (depending on their age & if they liked reading independently). Setting a time where the electronics got put away, toys went on the shelves and the TV was turned off made a big difference. Even now, my teen & tween know that at 9:30pm, it’s time to start reading. We sometimes still hear the “Do we have to read?” but then again, 9 out of 10 nights, when we say lights out, they’re begging for more time to read!
2. Create a fun reading space – Having a fun space where your child can go with their favorite book is a great idea. My friend Dinah from DIY Inspired shared how she turned a small area of her daughter’s room to an inviting and fun place to read. Adding shelves so the books are on display, a comfy chair or pillows, proper lighting, blankets and their favorite stuffed animals will make any kid want to grab a book and read. After looking through all the reading nook ideas on Pinterest, I want to make one for myself!
3. Take them to the library – One thing that my kids and I can all agree on is that it’s a lot of fun to go to the library. We all love going to the library and heading our separate ways to find the books that we love to read. My kids all have their own library cards and love checking out their own books. I’m sure the novelty of it has worn off on my oldest son but the other two love being able to use their own cards at the computer to check out books. While you’re there, ask the librarian if they have a story time or craft times, as well.
4. Let them read what interests them – For me, as long as a child is reading, I’m ok with them choosing their own age-appropriate materials. Whether it’s a comic book, magazine or the hottest new book, allowing them to read what interests them has really helped my kids to love reading. Now, that’s not to say I don’t suggest books for them or check out books that I think they will be interested in (some times those choices really surprise them when they end up loving a book I chose). But for me, I’d rather see them read anything (again, age & subject appropriate) than not allowing them to read certain things, like comic books.
5. Let them see YOU read – I always find it sad when I hear people say that they never read or they don’t like to read. With SO many different books of so many genres and magazines out there, I find it hard to believe that there isn’t something for everyone to read. If your kids see you reading and loving books, they’ll want to read and love books too.
6. Have fun with it – Once your child finds a book that they love to read, have fun with it and make personalized, fun bookmarks. Create your own washi tape bookmarks, paper clip bookmarks or my 6 year old son’s favorite: we bought him fun, colorful personalized bookmarks that help to make him proud that he is reading all by himself.
7. Go High Tech – I know that not every loves the thought of an e-reader. I will be the first to admit that I said I would NEVER buy a Kindle, I only wanted “real” books. That is until I bought my daughter her own Kindle for her 11th birthday. Once I started seeing how much she loved reading and downloading new books to try, I realized I wanted to get a Kindle for myself too. Now, all three of my kids use a Kindle or a device with a Kindle app to read. Of course they haven’t given up reading paper books (and I hope they never do!) but having several books at your fingertips, wherever you go at anytime, sure is nice! If you have a Kindle or e-reader (you can download the Kindle app for free on your tablet or cell phone), let your kid’s try it out and see if they like reading on it. Our library even lets us check out books this way, alerting us by email when a book is ready for us to download.
What tips do you have for getting your kids to love reading?