FTC Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by Arkansas Better Beginnings. I was selected to be a brand ambassador because of my shared commitment to their mission of providing our children with better beginnings. Everything I write on my blog are my true sentiments.
If you ask anyone that knows me what one of my top favorite activities is, chances are they will say reading. I have been reading for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I read at every single opportunity. During lunch, at recess, in bed, in the bathroom, at the dinner table (I actually used to get in trouble for that, lol). I have perfected the art of reading while walking. Seriously, I can walk a mile while reading and not bump into anything. Take that book out of my hands, though, and I suddenly become clumsy. Not quite sure how that works. Lol!
As an adult, my love for reading has not diminished in the least. I don’t have as much free time for it, but I do make time each day to do a little reading. I love being immersed in another world. Getting to know and love (and sometimes hate) the characters. It is an immensely enjoyable experience for me. One that I want my son to enjoy as well. In fact, I started working on his love of reading before he even arrived. When I found out I was pregnant, one of my first purchases was a set of books for him (among them was a collection of Roald Dahl stories (because no child’s library is complete without this). He now has a decent-sized library (though nowhere near what I want it to be – which is something to rival the Beast’s library in Beauty & the Beast).
However, one thing that I found (and that many parents probably discover) is that kids won’t always enjoy reading. Some of them will actually dislike it. It took a while for Christian to truly WANT to read. I used to struggle to get him to sit still long enough to listen to a story. He was much more interested in playing with his toys. Now however, he loves to read. When I worked as a nanny, I had a charge that hated reading. However, by the time I left that position, she had read most of the Harry Potter series and loved talking about what she was reading. So I think that there is always hope to turn things around and help kids to appreciate reading.
I thought that it might be helpful to some parents out there to learn some way to make reading fun for kids.
Make Reading Fun Tip #1: Find Books on Topics They Love
If you know that your child loves a certain topic, hobby, character, etc try to collect books that feature that. For example, if your child loves dinosaurs and trains, there are a wide variety of books (both fiction and nonfiction) that feature these things. It is always easier to become immersed in something if it is something that you actually enjoy.
Make Reading Fun Tip #2: Reward Them for Reading
Have you ever gone to your local library during the summer and saw them hosting a Summer Reading Program? Usually they have a reward attached to it. For example, a gift certificate to a local kid-friendly restaurant. Why not take this idea and apply it at home? If your child reads a certain amount of books, they get a little reward that you know they will get excited about. For some kids it might be something as simple as a gold sticker. For others, it might be something a bit bigger, like the libraries do. You might view this as bribing, but what I have found is that in the process of trying to earn the reward, many kids end up realizing that reading is actually pretty enjoyable. Especially if you follow tip #1 and introduce them to books about things they will enjoy.
Make Reading Fun Tip #3: Follow the Leader
I think it’s pretty common knowledge that our kids watch us and copy us. If you make a big deal out of spending time each day reading for your own pleasure, your kids will see this. If they see you enjoying it, chances are they will begin to follow suit by picking up a book and reading as well.
Make Reading Fun Tip #4: Read the Book then Watch the Movie
As I mentioned before, I used to be a nanny and one of the kids I worked with hated reading. Until she wanted to watch the new Harry Potter movie, that is. When I found out that she wanted to watch the movies, I asked her if she knew that they were books first. She had no clue! So I went to my room (I was a live-in nanny) and brought her the first book. She had already seen the first movie and loved it, so she was actually excited to read the book. Over the months leading up to the new movie coming out, she read many of the books. We even had discussions about the books! And then we watched the movies and talked about how they compared to the books. I think that this is a great way to get kids excited about reading a book. With the large number of book-to-movie adaptations out there, you can do a new book every week if you wanted to.
Make Reading Fun Tip #5: Explore Reading Options
Another tip is to remember that reading is not just limited to books. There are so many different types of reading media that kids can explore: books, comic books, ebooks, blogs/websites, newspapers, activity books, magazines, cereal boxes, etc. Literature is all around us! So take every opportunity that you can to take advantage of it.
I think that one main thing to remember is to try to make reading enjoyable – not a chore. If you make it seem like just another thing on their to-do list, chances are they won’t view it as something enjoyable.
For more tips on how you can make reading fun, check out these tips from Arkansas Better Beginnings.
FTC Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Arkansas Better Beginnings, however anything I share with you guys is 100% my opinions, thoughts, and experiences.