As summer slowly comes to a close and your family looks ahead to the school year, it’s time to start prepping your kids to hit the books. But what can you do if your children seem to have no interest in Charlotte’s Web or Harry Potter? Here are 8 fun ways to get even the most reluctant readers to pick up a book.
1. Make a Game Out of It
If your kid likes to run, jump, and play more than they like to sit and read, try incorporating books into their play time. For example, you can create a scavenger hunt where the final prize is a new book. If you’re feeling extra creative, you could theme each of the scavenger hunt clues to the book to get your child excited about discovering more.
2. Keep a Book Handy
Keeping a book stowed away in your bag for when you’re riding the train, waiting at the doctor’s office, or in line at the grocery store provides an entertaining and engaging way to keep boredom at bay. This tip also works as a great distraction for kids who are being grumpy or restless in public or at home.
3. Look Beyond Books
Comic books and graphic novels are a great way to get kids into reading by presenting similar themes and morals as books in colorful, artistic packages. Take your kid to a comic book store to help them find a new favorite. Or, better yet, head to a local comic book convention where they can see their favorite characters come to life.
4. Follow Their Favorite Authors
If your kid has a book or series they really love, help them to engage outside of the pages by following the author on social media, checking their website regularly, and looking for book signings in your area. Many authors and publishers offer giveaways or online games and some even respond to fan mail, so encourage your kids to get writing!
5. Make Book Shopping a Bonding Activity
Rather than just presenting your child with books they may or may not like, make an afternoon of picking out a new story or two. Start off by getting lunch or coffee if your child is older. Then take your time browsing your local bookstore and sharing books you find interesting with each other.
6. Encourage Them to Write Their Own Stories
Nothing gets a child more excited about reading than opening up a book they wrote themselves. You can craft your own using construction paper and colored pencils, or check out a website like Storybird that lets you build books online.
7. Make Reading an Adventure
Rather than simply sitting your kids down on the living room couch to read, take the show — or, rather, book — on the road. Find a shady spot in your local park and get some fresh air as you read or see if your local library hosts any story times or other reading events.
8. Pick Up a Book, Yourself
Sometimes the best thing to do is to lead by example. Get lost in a story of your own and let your child observe how enjoyable reading can be. You may find that, in time, they start copying your nightly tradition of cracking open a great book.
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