Tips to Get Kids to Read

Education, Home & Family
on February 15, 2004

Nothing is more wonderful than opening up the world of books to a child. But books today have to compete with video games, television, and all the flash and pizzazz of electronic toys. Here are some tips to get your children nose deep in a good book.

  • Read aloud every day. Kids love being read to. Curling up on the couch with a good book is an excellent way to discover reading is fun. You will find even older children like to be read to as well. Let your kids draw, play blocks, or do some kind of handiwork as you read aloud.
  • Make a book nook. Fix up a cozy corner with large, overstuffed pillows, a few stuffed animal friends, and a small bookcase. Keep a tape recorder handy and a supply of books on tapes. When the kids get quiet and you cant find them, check here first.
  • Make books available. Place books in every room in the housethe bathroom, living room, beside their beds, and beside the computer.
  • Let your children get their own library card. Kids love anything that makes them feel grown-up and important. Having their own card and letting them check out books takes care of both of those.
  • Use your library often. Schedule a regular library day, and just let them sit and read for a while in the library. Most libraries have special events such as story hour, book clubs, and speakers to help capture a childs interest in books.
  • Drop tantalizing hints about a book. Start reading one yourself that your children might like and share some interesting tidbits. When they want to know what happens, offer to lend them the book when youre done so they can find out themselves.
  • Spice up a book with extra activities. When reading Treasure Island, go on a scavenger hunt, make pirate hats, or draw a scene from the book. Cook a meal that goes along with the book.
  • Watch a classic on video. Then say, I wonder how close that was to the book? Maybe we should read that.
  • Make your own books. Little people love this, but plan on the older crowd getting in on it too. Something as simple as plain paper stapled together becomes a timeless treasure when they write their own stories. Let younger children tell you the story and you write it out and they illustrate it.
  • Set an example. Be a reader yourself. Children imitate what we do. If they see you enjoying a good book often, chances are they will too.