Last week I shared a few ideas for creating times for non-bookish kids to read. I have a daughter who would much rather play with Legos or Lincoln logs (or video games, of course!) than read a book, so I try to intentionally fit in some reading time each day. As she’s gotten older I’ve employed many different strategies (some more successful than others!) to get her ‘hooked on books’ and I can slowly see a reader emerging from my wiggly kid.
Books for Kids who’d rather play
Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with play time (I’d even say that it is an essential for childhood development). But, as kids get older their interests start to change. And hey, I don’t want a kid that’s stuck in front of a screen all day (as much as she’d love days filled with Minecraft). So I’m sneaking in ways for her to choose reading as her leisure time activity of choice. Here are my top 5 tips:
5 Tips for Reading
- Let your child choose the books. Sometimes they will be more invested in their own choices then a book that mom wants them to read. I’ll keep a basket and a bookshelf filled with lots of choices that I know will be worth her time.
- Read aloud every day. You can expose them to great stories and rich vocabulary that they might not be able to read themselves (here are our favorite elementary read alouds). I like The Read-Aloud Handbook and Honey for a Child’s Heart for fabulous book recommendations.
- Stew some books around. I like to be a bit sneaky and leave some interesting books with great pictures lying around. TJ will pick them up to look at the pictures and get pulled into the captions and content. The DK Eyewitness books are great for strewing!
- Download some audio books for quiet time and play time. There are many places online (check your library too!) where you can quickly download a variety of wonderful audio books. I will turn one on when it’s quiet, during play time, even when TJ is playing Minecraft. Sneak in those good books when you can.
- Later bedtimes (only for reading). This is another great way to sneak in some reading time. TJ has a specified bedtime but she is allowed to stay up 30 minutes to 1 hour (depending on when I go to bed!) past her bedtime if she is reading. My only rule is she must stay in her bed. During this bedtime reading she’s allowed to read whatever she likes (which usually means Garfield or Calvin & Hobbes).
Do you have any reading tips that have worked with your kids?