It’s so easy to get kids interested in reading these days. When there are computers, iPads, iPhones, and video games spilling out of every corner of the house, the obvious first choice for a child who wants to be entertained is a book.
Yes, that was sarcasm.
Look, it’s not easy to get kids interested in reading when distractions abound. I mean, think about the last time you read a book. If we want our kids to be more interested in reading, we need to be better about getting excited about it ourselves. There are so many ways to get our kids into reading — but the ball is in our court. Some simple realizations can get the whole family in the habit of turning to a story…
Reading doesn’t have to happen at the witching hour, aka bedtime.
You’re not the only one guilty of skipping that bedtime story. By the end of the day, most of us are so exhausted we’re practically running out of the room to get some downtime after we put our kids to bed. Change your routine. Reading to your kids can happen any time of day — not just the end of it when you are already done.
You don’t need a ton of time.
No matter how busy we are, we all have that moment we sit down, relax, and zone out on some TV. Sit down, relax, and grab a book instead. If you turn off the TV, close your computer, and remove all distractions — even for a few minutes — your kids can follow your lead.
Sign up for an unlimited reading app, like Epic.
Your kids can instantly have thousands of books at their fingertips — on any device. This brilliantly uses your kid’s natural affinity for screens to expose them to a world of reading and imagination. Win, win.
Try actually finding the bookshelf in your kid’s room first.
It’s kind of hard for your kid to pick out his favorite book if he can’t find it. Most of us deal with this by just reading what’s at the top. (No? Just me?) Organize the disaster (or even better, have your kids do it) and they may be more interested in it.
Convince your kids the bookstore is fun.
Bribe them with a Starbucks cookie or something. Bookstores are so fun for children, and occasionally letting them choose a new book to bring home is a great way to keep them excited to read.
That thing called a “library?” It still exists!
Libraries are amazing, because your kids can check out several books — they’re not restricted by the need for you to shell out cash. Also, the routine of getting their own library card is fun, which is something that’s easy for us adults to forget. We have several things that have our names on them — our kids don’t. Remember how excited you were when you got your first library card? It’s your first credit card. *shudder*
No kid says “no” to a later bedtime.
Give them an extra 15 minutes before lights out to read a book of their choosing. No child says “no” to a later bedtime. Literally. No child does that.
Bring a book to the dinner table.
You know that moment when you’re all done eating, before your kids go off to do whatever their antsy selves can’t wait to leave the dinner table for? Have a book ready. You’d be surprised how quickly the after-dinner-book routine can catch on. It gives them one more thing to fight over — and kids love that.
Talk about what you’re reading.
This is not a quiz — it’s a conversation. Who’s your kid’s favorite character? Let them use their imagination to think of other adventures that character can have, and let them tell you a story of their own. You can do the same.
You need this as much as your kids. Relax and enjoy a book. There’s really nothing like it.