9 ways to get children to read
9 fun and original ways to get your kids to read and have fun while doing so!
1. Find fun activities related to books.
Let your child write the end of the story. Once your child has read the beginning of a book for the first time ask him to tell you the rest of the story the way he would like it to play out. If he is old enough he can write it down and even add his own pictures. When he has finished he can read it to you. After that he can read the original book to see how the author chose to complete the story.
Make a play about the book – Once your children have read a book let them make a play about it. They can invite over some friends if they want/need additional actors. Give them ideas to make props, create their own invitations and even entrance tickets. Once they have completed rehearsals you can invite some people (such as grandparents or the friends’ parents) over to watch the play. Don’t forget to applaud and tell them how wonderful they are! You can also take a home video of the play and transfer it to a DVD. Buy a DVD sticker on which you can write the name of the play, the name of the actors and you can even add their photo. Your kids will be so proud to have their own DVD. It is a great thing to keep and watch in a few years (assuming we are able to watch DVD’s in a few years! Try listening to a cassette or record today 🙂 ).
Make an art project related to a book your kids just read. There are thousands of ideas for art projects online for young and older kids. Find one related to the book that you would like to make.
Visit a place related to the book – For example, if your child reads the book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” maybe you could visit a chocolate factory (many factories have a visitor’s center for kids). If your child reads a book about animals you could visit the zoo.
Ask your child to draw a picture about the book and have it framed to hang in her room.
Make your own dictionary – buy a phone book for your child. Each times she encounters a word that she is not familiar with, she can write the word and the meaning in her phone book (after either asking you the meaning or preferably looking it up). Writing the meaning of a world often helps to remember it. When she looks back she will see just how many words she has added to her vocabulary! It is also helpful when she forgets the meaning of a word she has previously looked up. This is a great tool for kids reading in a second language.
Make bookmarks that will be fun to use. There are thousands of ideas online if you need inspiration!
Find related printables online. There are many websites that offer fun printable activities related to certain books.
2. Use reading charts and set reading goals.
Use a reading chart to keep track of reading progress and motivate your children. The reward can be extra screen time, a fun activity or enabling your child to go to sleep later on a weekend. It you are not on a tight budget educational games are a great reward. There are many games that are both fun and really educational. The more they read the more prizes they can earn! You can also set up a point system. Each book is worth a certain number of stickers on the book chart (it could be one it could be more depending on length and difficulty). The more points they earn the bigger the prize that they can get. They can either “spend” their points on a smaller prize or save up for a bigger prize! For example, once they complete an entire book chart they can get a smaller prize but if they complete two book charts then they can get a bigger prize. This will reward them for reading and teach them to save. We offer free printable “Book Bucks” with a table that shows kids what their prize will be for earning book bucks (depending on how many they earn).
3. Set up a comfortable reading spot.
Some spots look so comfy you just want to curl up with a good book. Try to arrange a similar spot for your child. It can be a comfortable sofa, chair or even just cushions on the floor.
4. Set a good example.
If your children see you reading often they will understand that books should be a part of their life too!
5. Make regular trips to the library.
Make this a family activity. Read stories together there and take books home for each family member. It’s a fun and cheap way to spend time together and everyone enjoys it. It also sets a good example!
6. Help kids find an author that they love or books about a topic they are interested in.
Often, there are specific books or authors that kids love but you might need to help them find them. Once they do, they might be hooked!
7. Discuss the books
Ask your child to tell you about the book she read once she completes it. Ask her questions. Try to ask both simple questions, open-ended questions and more complex ones that make her think about the meaning of the book and the moral of the story.
If your kids are addicted to TV and hate reading why not get them a foreign movie with subtitles. If they want to watch they will have to read! In time they will significantly improve the speed of their reading.
9. Start slowly for those you have difficulty reading.
If reading an entire book seems overwhelming then you can ask them to read a few pages or a chapter. Setting small goals sometimes enables children to accomplish more than bigger goals that just make them give up quickly.