Genius Ways to Get Your Kids to Love Reading

March 2 is National Read Across America Day

By: Amanda Mushro

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Mother reading to kids on couch

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Mother reading to kids on couch

Photo by: MoMo Productions

MoMo Productions

From babies to big kids, reading helps them develop language, be more successful in school, and better understand the world around them. However, finding the energy to read to our kids as much as we should or getting our readers to actually pick up a book isn’t always so easy. But there are a few tricks to encourage kids of all ages to become lifelong readers.

If you’re looking to log some more reading time with your kids, try these tips.

Create a Book Nook: A cozy and quiet place to read makes spending time with your nose in a book so much more fun. A book nook is a designated place in your home where your kids can cuddle up and spend time reading. The best part — you don’t have to spend any money to make a book nook. Just use items you already have around the house. Grab a few pillows, a fuzzy blanket or two, a reading light, and a basket to hold all of their books to make a personalized book nook.

If your kids still aren’t digging the book nook, let them pick up a few items to add to their reading space. Work with your kids to create an area that they enjoy and feel ownership over and watch it become a space they want to spend time in to read.

Don’t Be Critical of Their Book Choices: If your toddler picks the same book for you to read over and over every night before bed, go with it. Since young children learn through repetition, the same words and pictures are a great way for them to grasp language and pick up those early reading skills. If you want to add some variety to reading time, tell your kids they can choose a book and you choose a book. That way you still read their favorite but you get to add another book to the mix

For older kids, don’t be critical of their book selection if it isn’t a chapter book. For many kids, graphic novels are more interesting, and when you’re looking to increase reading time, high-interest books are key. If your reader chooses a book that interests them, let them get excited about their pick.

Listen While You Drive: If you’ve got some family travel time coming up, instead of your kids glued to their technology, choose an audiobook the whole family will enjoy. Not only is it a great way to pass the time when traveling, but kids benefit from hearing other people read — even kids who can already read. From hearing new words, different styles of language, and the patterns of sentences, listening to audiobooks has plenty of benefits for kids of all ages.

Make It a Party: The next time you’re looking to choose a book, find one that also has a movie version. Once your kids have finished the book, pop some popcorn, grab a few snacks and drinks, and watch the movie together. Not only is this a great reward for reading an entire book, but it’s a fun way to have a conversation about how the book and the movie differ.

Read Everything: When you’re cooking dinner, ask your child to read the recipe to you. When it’s family game night, choose a board game that has words or phrases to read and let your kids take over that job. Get your kids a subscription to a magazine that arrives at your home each month. When you’re in the car with your kids, encourage them to read the street signs along the way.

Be Regulars at the Library: Exposing your kids to a variety of books is a great way to set them up to love reading. Don’t be strangers at your local library. Not only are libraries free but it gives kids the chance to be picky with their book selection. Kids can walk up and down the aisles and choose a variety of books to read. If they love the books they choose — great. If they don’t love the book, it’s okay too and they can simply return the book and try for another one.

Be a Reader: If your kids don’t see you reading for enjoyment, they won’t pick up a book for fun either. When your kids are able to read on their own, climb into their book nook with them and read a few chapters of your book. When you go to the library with your kids, choose a few books along with their book selection. Set the example for reading and your kids will follow.

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