Do you want your kids to love reading? I desperately want my kids to be avid readers. Our son is on his way, but our daughter has already gotten there…and beyond. We’ve now gotten to the point where we have to tell her she can’t read sometimes. Awesome! I never thought that would happen!
Here’s some of the ideas we’ve used to foster a love for reading in our kids…hope you find some inspiration!
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1. Say yes to paper books. I won’t get into it here, but there is just something different about a paper book versus an e-book. For as long as I can remember I’ve had plenty of books around me. I want the same for my daughter.
We never say no to books because of lack of space. We’ll say no to lots of other things, but in our home there is always room for one more book. They can be stacked anywhere, get tucked anywhere…
It isn’t always practical. And books weigh a ton when it comes to moving…but oh well! What matters is having an environment that fosters an appreciation for books.
2. Get books at thrift stores. And I don’t mean a couple books. I mean let your kids have a blast at thrift stores. For the price of one new book, they can often buy at least five used books.
3. Never limit books at the library. The only thing that limits the number of books we get at the library is the limit the library puts on our card. Currently the limit at our library is 50 books per card (and honestly, I don’t think we could carry any more than that!).
So, when we go to the library mom and dad each pick out a couple of books and then the kid have at it. Then we count and recount to come in under 50. They feel like it’s Christmas and it doesn’t cost us anything!
4. Discover Summer Reading Programs or develop your own Summer Reading Program. We have done lots of different summer reading programs.
The public library program is probably one of the most accessible programs to join.
Our local parks even provide a free program where each child get one free book every week!
While we have enjoyed being a part of these programs, this year we made up our own summer reading program. We are making goals that are compatible for our daughter with rewards that fit her personality as well. Why would we do this instead? Because I got tired of trying to track minutes read and turn in minutes on time…so we came up with our own simple version that works for us. Do what works for your family!
5. Model book loving. Children emulate those around them. If you watch TV all the time, your kids will be hard pressed to want to read. However, if you have books everywhere and love to read (to yourself and them) they will naturally develop the same habits.
6. Ditch the Television…the laptop…the tablet…the smartphone. The single biggest diversion from reading good old-fashioned books (in my opinion) is electronics.
Turn them off.
Get rid of them.
When kids are “bored” they will look for something “entertaining.” When there is no other option, they will get creative…they might even read!
7. Provide amazing books that your kids can’t put down. Some books are good, some are just OK, and some are absolutely amazing!
The funny thing is that every child is so unique that they may each have a different favorite.
The key is finding the types of books your children identify with and finding the best of the best of those.
If your kids really struggle to want to read, finding them a book they can’t put down can be the key that opens the world of books to them.
I love it when my daughter says, “this is like the best book every!” She says that at least once or twice a month (about different books!). To me, it means she has discovered the joy of reading. And I couldn’t be happier.
If you struggle to find awesome books your kids will love, I’ve included some links for some of my daughter’s favorites and some extras here at the end. She’s read all of these books and loved them! Lots of them are in a series and they are great too (like Redwall – there are over 20 books in that series and my daughter has read every single one – some more than once!).
You can do this. You can grow a love for reading in your kids and in your home. It’s a beautiful thing!
What is your (or your kids) favorite “can’t put down” children’s book? I’d love to hear your suggestions and so would my daughter! Please share in the comments below!