I was in the process of starting this article late on a girls’ night, with Miss L chilling beside me on the couch. I hadn’t gotten far at all before I had an inquisitive seven-year-old reading over my shoulder. It was seconds later that she started giving her own input. So, I decided to include Miss L’s tips in the article. After all, what better person to get tips to help kids love to read than right from a mini-bookworm herself?
Our Top Ten Tips To Help Kids Love To Read
- Close the book at a pivotal point, and ask your child what they think is going to happen next. Give your own opinions and encourage them to share yours. Maybe say something silly to get them laughing about the possibilities. Then, when you start reading again, express surprise over what actually happened (if you were wrong). They love to get their brains engaged.
- Miss L says: It’s really funny when we see things in real life that we read about in books. Make sure you point them out to us, or let us point them out to you! I liked finding Olaf stickers after we read a book about Olaf! It was like OH MY GOD! IT’S OLAF, MOMMY!
- Do not be afraid to make a fool of yourself reading. Put on atrocious foreign accents. Swoon dramatically. Make faces. Make it more than just words on a page. Kids don’t judge you on your acting ability, they just enjoy the show you put on.
- Miss L says: Start with funny books! ‘Cause your child might enjoy funny books at first more, and as they get older, they can move on to scarier books and books with no pictures.
- It’s tempting to choose a book that pushes your child’s reading ability, or is just a little more interesting to you, but don’t let that be the primary reason you choose a certain book for reading time. Enjoyment factor is key here. You can push the envelope a little bit with what you choose, but you don’t want to bore the kid when they’re listening to you because it’s over their head.
- Miss L says: Don’t make us read books we’re not interested in. If we don’t like a book, let us switch to another book.
- Yes, theoretically thirty minutes of reading time a night or so is optimal, but no matter how much they like reading, sometimes they’re just not in the mood for reading. Don’t stress it, don’t force themselves to sit still and listen when they’re bouncing off the walls and you’re snapping at them. Just acknowledge they’re not in the right mood, and leave it be. Alternately, if they’re really involved in the story, don’t stop at thirty minutes just because that’s the time you set. If there’s nothing pressing, read an extra ten, fifteen, or more.
- Miss L says: If we like the first book in a series, look for the second book for us, and if we like that one, look for the third one! We like series. My favorite series is House of Robots!
- Audio books are awesome for adults AND kids. Don’t forget to explore that idea with your child. They may absolutely love it – but don’t forget that they still crave reading time with you, too! Nothing is as good at reading as Mommy/Daddy.
- Miss L: Libraries are fun! There are tons of books to pick from, and educational games on the computers. Take us to the library at least once a week because we really like them. We also like to bring meet friends there, too!
Help Kids Love To Read – BONUS Tips!
We couldn’t stop at just 10, so here are a few bonus tips!
BONUS 1: Don’t steer kids away from something just because you don’t like it. For example: I cannot stand comic books.
Reading them literally gives me a headache. Miss L loves them. I make it clear Mommy doesn’t want to read them with her, but she’s free to read them on her own or with daddy, because it’s okay if we like different things.
BONUS 2: Miss L says: Just ask us politely if we want to read a book with you! It’s nice to get asked!
BONUS 3: Run a blog? Even if you never actually post them, let kids write up their own reviews of their books. It not only helps with their writing skills, but also makes them feel important and encourages the reading bug.
This is meant to be a basic overview. For an in-depth article on this, click here to read the Circle Time guest post by Andy Mulberry: How to Hook the Reluctant Reader . She did a fantastic job!
What about do you? Do you have any tips to help kids love to read?