parenting

Reading: 10 Ways to Encourage Your Kids to Read

parentingeducation

Reading can and should be an enjoyable activity for your children. It can spark imagination that opens their mind to a whole new world. Not only is it an entertaining activity, it is educational as well. Reading improves and develops language skills, broadens vocabulary, and improves their social skills.

Keep your kids reading throughout the summer and all year to support their education and to provide a wholesome activity. At a MomItForward Twitter #gno party last month, sponsored by PBS Kids, Tweeters gave tips on how to encourage your kids to read and how to get the most out of it.

10 Ways to Get Your Kids Reading

  • Read along with them. “The best way to encourage reading? Read a book yourself,” said @ImaginationSoup.
  • Create a reading time. @pbsparents suggested taking books to the park with a blanket and lunch or a snack for a booknic! @theaumsmama suggested replacing movie night with books but still making the popcorn! Create a blanket tent with flashlights and pillows for a reading space, tipped @susancasetexas.
  • Motivate! @ImaginationSoup suggested letting your kids break the rules and stay up late to read. Some of our Tweeters, including @lisalantz, have their kids read to earn minutes of electronic play time.
  • Give them rewards. @momonashoe, along with other Tweeters, makes visual charts to hang up in the house. @theaumsmama said that libraries have summer reading programs that reward kids for reading. @MWill1980 prints certificates from the internet!
  • Enhance reading. @mamaknowsitall suggested crafts, trips, and other special projects to bring the book to life. @7onashoestring said her girls like to act out their books with puppet shows. “Try to tie in a fun day trip to something somewhere in the book,” said @TammySigond.
  • Get them thinking. “When reading together, talk about it! What will happen next? Can you think of a new ending? Make each story your own!” said @SUPERWHYTV. Let your kids create stories from the beginning, too. @susancasetexas recommends listening and writing your child’s stories. What a great way to record their childhood!
  • Write. Letting your kids write is a great way to surround themselves with words. @susancasetexas suggested making your own books with photos and words and gave the tip to keep journals in the car for writing. It's a perfect way for them to get their thoughts written down before forgetting about their fun day!
  • Read everything! Who said reading time is only for books? Read everywhere and all the time! “Encourage them to read a wide variety of material,” said @theaumsmama, “Books, comics, magazines, newspapers, and the back of cereal boxes!” @pbskids added reading recipes when they help you in the kitchen.
  • Pick new books. Add variety. Let your kids browse and pick out books that look fun for them. @ImaginationSoup said, “Teach your kids how to pick out new books. Scan the back, the cover, read a page.”
  • Keep it up while traveling. @lisalantz and other Tweeters suggested reading up on the places you go to. On the way, @LifebyCynthia suggested reading signs and menus! @7onashoestring said a favorite family road trip game is the ABC game. Find each letter at the start of a word.

After a while, your kids won’t even need the push to read. They’ll see how much fun reading is and never want to put a book down!

How do you encourage your children to read? Especially during the summer?

Feature image courtesy of Flickr.

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Cambria VandeMerwe

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