Children often treat reading outside of school like a chore, and as much as parents would love to hear their child say that reading is fun, most of the time fun and reading are not used in the same sentence. We’re here to help you change this. Below you’ll find seven ideas for making reading fun and for inspiring your growing reader to enjoy it more. These appeared in an issue of Scholastic’s Parent and Child magazine and we really like how simple and varied they are. Try a few of these in your home and enjoy discovering the fun of reading together with your reader! Come back and check our blog for future posts. Each month, we’ll explore one of these ideas in depth and include tips, tricks, links, and resources to help you try it out.
1. Cook or bake together
Cooking and baking together are great ways to bond with your child, and I’m sure that the thought of a nice home cooked meal or warm pie will get a few of you racing to the kitchen. Before you run off, remember to use this time to follow recipes together, and ask your little chef or baker to help you figure out the steps. This will help your child realize that they can use reading to discover or master a topic, and this can be a great motivator.
2. Honor your child’s choices
If your child is bugging you to buy a book that seems too easy for them, don’t worry. Let him or her read what they want, as reading easier texts builds their confidence. If your child chooses a book or magazine that you think is boring, support their willingness to read it, and enjoy finding out about a topic which you might have never read about on your own. Ask your child questions about what they read so that they see that you’re interested in it.
3. Play “I spy” with sounds
This is a fun variation of “I spy” which you can play anywhere and that will come in handy during those long waits at the dentist’s office etc. Choose something in the room and have your child guess what it is. Instead of telling them what letter it starts with, tell them the sound it starts with.
4. Check out poetry
Unlike many books and those dreaded thick textbooks your child hates to read, most poems are short and therefore aren’t as intimidating. Read them out loud together and enjoy the language and rhyme which they bring to life. Don’t be afraid to get silly together as you read them!
5. Shoebox card review
Have your child decorate a shoe box and fill it with colorful index cards with printed words on them. Grab a few of them to review each week, and add new words as you come across them together. Get your whole family involved and make it into a fun game to really get your child excited.
6. Get a subscription
Splurge on a subscription for your young reader. Children enjoy getting mail, and getting a magazine addressed to them will make them excited to bring it inside and start reading right away. Scholastic recommends signing up young kids ages 3 to 6 for Ladybug and trying out Dig or Ranger Rick for older ones. There are even subscription boxes made just for kids, such as GiftLit, which ships a monthly selection of books for your child to check out.
7. Go electronic
E-readers are not reserved for us adults. They have features such as text highlighting and audio options which can make it easier for older kids to navigate the reading and really get into the story. Plus, they’re easy to grab and allow your child to have access to more than one book quickly. This can come in handy during long road trips when you don’t have room for all six books in a series.
Let us know which of these you tried and enjoyed the most. Please also share any of your tried and true ideas. We would love to hear what works for your family!