Ten Ways To Get Your Kids Reading
Get your kids reading! Children need support to be natural readers. Learn ten tried and true ways to develop the reading instinct in your kids.
1 - Start early. Begin reading to your infant even if it seems silly. You need to create a habit of reading breaks throughout the day so your baby will grow up expecting to spend time daily looking at books, and later reading them.
2 - Create a nighttime ritual of bedtime stories. It works two ways, making it easier to bed down the children by using a routine, and giving the children time alone with mom or dad and books.
3 - Play word games at dinner. Make learning word skills fun by inventing games. For toddlers, have them act out emotions: show me a happy face, show me a mad face. Pre-schoolers can play opposites: what is the opposite of up? what is the opposite of cold? Continue with an I Spy game: I spy with my little eye something that begins with the letter P.
4 - Help older children who are having trouble with their reading. Try to psych them out by reluctantly agreeing to a later bedtime if they spend the extra time until lights out reading with you or by themselves.
5 - Provide weekly visits to the library. Be sneaky when necessary. Claim to be going for yourself, and telling them they can just wait for you to find your books. The draw of all those books, displays and other children sitting in cushy chairs reading may be too much for your children to resist. Make sure each child has his or her own library card.
6 - Take time to read in your children's presence. How will your children react if they see you spending rainy Saturday afternoons curled up with a good book? It won't take long before they begin imitating your behavior.
7 - Encourage reading by buying books at garage and used book sales. Parents of older children may even be grateful if you take a series of popular books off their hands once their children have outgrown them. Books on animals, planes, weather, gardening, as well as adventure novels, mysteries and short story collections sitting on coffee tables, on night stands, in cars and backpacks allow children to read the subjects they are interested in.
8 - A study was done once that showed children growing up in messy homes read more. Don't stop cleaning, just question the need to keep all your magazines, books and newspapers safely in cupboards instead of out in the open where they become part of the home life.
9 - Celebrate authors that spin tales your child craves. For generations parents have bemoaned the lack of classics on their kids' reading wish lists. Never forget that if your child is reading books from Nancy Drew to Goosebumps to Harry Potter, your child is reading!
10 - Read the books your children read and discuss them to increase their reading comprehension.