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How to Get Your Kids Excited to Read More
We all know that reading is important, but getting kids to read has become harder in recent years. Reading can be a chore for many kids, so they try to avoid reading when it is possible. Luckily, there are ways that you can easily raise kids who love to read. Here are tips to help your kids learn to love reading.
1. Read Together
This is something that all parents know, but it needs to be repeated. Reading to your kids when they are babies to when they are young adolescents is the best way of getting them interested in reading. Reading to them before they can read on their own creates the love of tales and stories. For most children, hearing stories also helps build their imagination and gives them a base to create their own stories for playtime. Many times, hearing you read out loud teaches your children new words that they may not hear during everyday conversations.
2. Be a Role Model
One of the best ways of raising kids who love to read is to be their role model. They should catch you reading and ENJOYING it. It doesn’t matter what you are reading, it could be a book or a magazine. Children look to their parents for cues and will start associating reading as a fun activity that they should be enjoying.
Along with letting your kids see you read, you should also talk to them about what you are reading. You should also talk about your favorite books from your childhood, or about what you have learned from reading recent news articles. These conversations help kids learn that reading allows them to learn new topics and information.
3. Make Reading about them just Reading
Kids love to connect. They love spending with their parents and reading is a simple way of connecting with your kids. Reading should be associated with time with Mom or Dad. Even some of the most reluctant readers will be willing to crack open a book when they are spending time with their parent. So, you should make reading a special time for your children. It could be cuddling up in bed and reading, or building a fort and reading books in the fort.
4. Take the Pressure Off
Whatever you do, you should never put pressure on your kids to read. For some kids, reading can be stressful and something that they are forced to do. You should also avoid placing strict time limits on reading, especially school reading.
Making a habit of reading books to kids is a good start. Having a specific time of day when everyone in the house to read can make reading seem like a fun group activity rather than something they need to do on their own.
5. A Trip to the Library Should be an Adventure
If you are already visiting your local library on a semi-regular basis, you can mix it up by going to other nearby libraries. Visiting new libraries can be a mini-adventure for kids. New libraries also mean that there are new books for them to read and new librarians to meet.
6. Find the Perfect Book
This is obvious, but is usually easier said than done. For picky readers, it could take multiple tries before there is a story that they can get lost in. Searching the shelves at the library is often the best method, but life can get in the way. There is also the possibility that your library will not have the book that your kid is looking for.
There are services like Epic that have thousands of children’s books that you can add to an iPad or tablet. These services allow your kids to look at new books, pick what they want to read and flip through the pages on their own. Some books also come as audiobooks, so they can listen and read the book at the same time.
7. Go Beyond a Book
This is a great way of showing kids that it is fun to read. There are many books that have been turned into movies, plays, and TV show shows that retell the story or expand on the book. Most times, seeing a story come to life makes it easier for your children to imagine what is happening and what the characters look like.
If you are kids are really creative and inspired by the stories, have them act the story out. Older kids may want to produce their own play or write their own stories based on the books they are reading.
8. Follow the Author
If your child has an author who they enjoy, you should follow the author online. Many authors talk about upcoming books, host giveaways, and answer questions about their books on their website and their social media accounts. Some bookstores have days when authors visit and sign books and answer questions for their fans. Some authors have PO boxes for letters and write back to their fans.
9. Look Beyond Books
Comic books and graphic novels are very appealing to kids because there are both pictures and text to read. Many books stores have graphic novels. You can also try the local comic book stores. There are also comic conventions that you can visit. Along with the stories, kids also get to learn about artwork, costumes, and figures. Comic conventions are great for kids because they learn that adults love reading the same stories as them and there are many who dress up like their favorite characters, which allows them to share their love of comics with kids and adults alike.
10. Shop Together
This is great for kids of all ages. You can take your kids out for a warm drink and then browse the bookshelves. It is a special time for both of you and it encourages them to look for new books to read, even if they do not find anything.
11. Give Books as Gifts
Books can become keepsakes that don’t age like fads and toys do. You can wrap up a new book or give them a gift certificate to the local bookstore, so they can pick their own book out.
12. Local Authors
There are thousands of authors who are writing great kids’ books, but are not as well known. Local bookstores are more likely to have books from local authors, and the staff will be happy to show them to you. Some libraries also have books from their local authors, and may have an area set aside for them.
13. Let Them Explore
We all have our favorite types of books to read. You should keep an open mind and be accepting of that fact and allow your kids to read books that they enjoy. Captain Underpants may not be your cup of tea, but it may be something your kids enjoy. They may not enjoy some of your childhood favorites, and that’s perfectly okay. Your children’s book favorites can change over time, so allow them to explore and learn about different types of books available.
Raising kids who are excited to read does not have to be a challenge. You just need to start reading to them when they are young and then continue to support them as they grow up.