Reading is a really important part of your child’s development. When a child can read, they can explore ideas, explore new worlds that help them to be more creative and empathetic, and of course when a child can read well, it makes it much easier for them to study and navigate the world around them.
Unfortunately, many kids are not natural readers. They have little interest in books preferring to play sports or video games or whatever it is, and that means that they do not learn to read as quickly or effectively as you might expect.
The good news is, there are lots of things you can do to help make reading fun, so that they will do it more and hopefully conquer the written world far more effectively as a result, too.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best things you can do to make reading more fun right now:
Read with them
The best thing you can do to get your kids into reading is to read with them from a young age. In fact, you can start reading to them as soon as they are born, and that way, listening to fun stories will be second nature to them right from the start, As they grow and get older, you can have them read along with you or even read to you when they feel confident enough to do so. It’s a great way to bond with you and that is why they’ll love it.
Get to know your reading milestones
Reading is always going to be more fun for your kids when they are able to do so without too much effort. This is why you should get to know reading milestones by age. When you know what the appropriate milestones are, you can avoid pushing them to read texts they are not ready for and you can choose books and comics that they are more likely to understand and absorb, which will make the whole process easier and more fun, while also ensuring that they improve their reading at a steady rate.
Focus on topics they love
You might want them to love The Little Prince as much as you did when you were their age or to devour books about dinosaurs to mimic your own passion for paleontology, but if you want to really foster a love of reading in your children, it is a really good idea to focus on books, magazines, and comics that tackle subjects they love.
Sure, you might think that reading about monster trucks or devouring every ghost story they can find is a waste of time, but it really isn’t because, at the end of the day, they will be reading and enjoying it and when they are young, that is the most important thing. They will graduate to “better” books one day and the reading they have done now will help them to better understand those books so it’s all good.
Listen to audiobooks in the car
Instead of listening to BTS or Ariana Grande or whoever is playing in the car, when you have the kids with you, listen to a great audiobook instead. When kids hear someone reading a book with confidence, it helps them to learn how to read a book carefully and with expression, which can help them to do the same when they are reading The Hardy Boys or whatever, and of course, listening to an audiobook will be more nourishing for them in the moment than the lastest pop track too.
Put on a show
If your kids are very active, and if they have a natural flair for the dramatic, it could be hard to convince them to sit down and read a book. However, you can turn it into a fun challenge for them by turning it into a play.
Tell them that you want them to put on a play for you based on Nancy Drew or Harry Potter or whichever book you think they would enjoy the most, and in order to do so, they will need to first read the book to get a feel for their character and to pick out the most exciting scenarios to act out. They’ll have so much fun planning for their olay that they’ll forget they’re reading, but they will be doing exactly that and they will be paying attention, which means their comprehension skills will be getting a real workout.
Set a reading challenge
Something else that can make reading more fun for kids is a reading challenge. Basically, you should challenge them to read X books in Y amount of time and reward them with a little prize if they meet their goals. You could also challenge them to read one book on a specific topic and have a family quiz about it once they’re done if you think reading a specific number of books might be too tough a challenge for them, or you can think of a completely unique challenge tailored to your child’s specific needs and interests – it doesn’t matter as long as you get them reading more.
Set a good example
If your children see you reading, lots of books, and most importantly enjoying them, then they are far more likely to see books as something that bring pleasure, which means they are more likely to pick one up from time to time. So, try to set a good example, and if you don’t read much, set yourself your own reading challenge in the coming months.
Watch movies based on books
Watching movies based on books might sound like a really bad way to encourage your children to read, but it can work well if you approach it right, Pick a movie you think they will enjoy, and once it’s over tell them that it was actually based on a book and that the book did X, Y and Z differently or had a much better ending or whatever, then offer to buy them the book or borrow it from the local library. You’ll be surprised at how often they will take you up on that offer.
Leave lots of books lying around
Leaving a lot of books on a lot of different topics, in various locations around your home from their bedrooms to the kitchen is a good way to pique their interest without being pushy about it, and turns finding a new book into a bit of a scavenger hunt.
Switch up the books from time to time and the new covers will pique their interest and probably cause them to at least take a peek inside whenever they come across a new book. If you choose the titles wisely, they’ll probably keep reading once they’ve cracked it open.
Go to library events
If you have a local library nearby, they will almost certainly run lots of fun book-related events from crafting sessions to storytimes sessions with famous authors, take your kids to as many of these as you can fit in and they will naturally come to associate the library and therefore books, with a fun time, and that means they’ll be more inclined to get into reading even when they aren’t at the library too.
When your child loves to read, they will never be bored, but more importantly, they will be inspired to be more creative, and they will implicitly understand the world around them; they will study more effectively and achieve more. So, be sure to do what you can to make reading more fun.