It seems like some kids are born with a book in their hands. They pick up reading quickly, and they never put it down. But other kids, even those who don’t suffer from learning disabilities of some kind, never seem to take to the idea of sitting still and reading. In some cases, their reading skills aren’t up to par, while others simply find the task boring. But as a parent, you know how important reading is to your child’s development and how this vital skill can help or hinder them in every subject. So if you’re looking for a few good ways to turn your kids on to reading, here are some tips that may get them on track.
- Read with them. Kids that aren’t keen on solitude may take to reading if you turn it into a group activity. As many parents do, you can start by reading to your kids at night before they go to bed. This not only serves as a great way to bond with kids and wind them down for bedtime, but it helps them to view reading as an enjoyable activity. Over time, you can trade-off so that you’re reading to each other, improving their skills, and showing them that reading can transport them to another world. But you might also set up family reading time. Instead of watching TV after dinner to relax, select books that the whole family can enjoy and take turns reading aloud.
- Change the format. Let’s face it: traditional books have become old-school. These days everything is digitized, and a book that appears on a monitor may be more appealing than one that requires your kids to turn pages. In addition, the Kindle, Nook, iPad, and other tablets allow your kids to carry entire libraries in one small, lightweight, portable device. So if they feel like reading Captain Underpants in the morning and Treasure Island in the afternoon, they don’t have to haul around a heavy bag of books to do it.
- Play to their interests. Every child will be interested in different things, and if you want your kids to enjoy reading, it’s a good idea to figure out what they like. When you know what sparks the interest of each child, you can bring home books that cater to their individual preferences. Even if it turns out they prefer nature magazines like National Geographic Kids to actual books, you can make sure they have something compelling on hand when you send them off to read for a while.
- Join a reading challenge. Many kids enjoy competition, so joining a summer reading challenge, like the one offered by Scholastic, could help to keep them turning pages. This one is especially notable since it pushes them to read during the summer when teachers aren’t around to assign reading homework.
- Try all kinds of books. Whether you head to the local library or the bookmobile once a week or you go online to compare used textbooks at www.slugbooks.com, a variety of options may be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to getting your kids to crack a book. Some children will enjoy fantasy, adventure, and science fiction. Others will prefer non-fiction fare, like books about animals, space, or how machinery works, for example. It’s not always easy for parents to keep track of their kids’ reading preferences. But with a wealth of options available, you can encourage your kids to read whatever appeals to them.