If your child is showing little interest in reading, there is hope. Sometimes we parents have to get get sneaky, but you can still turn your child into a reader, even if he is reluctant about it.
The Earlier Bedtime trick
One of my favorite ways to get my kids to read is something they hopefully will not figure out until they have kids of their own. Two words “Earlier Bedtime”.
You might be wondering how an increase in sleep can help your child to spend more time reading. Well, here’s the trick. Set their bedtime for 45 minutes to an hour before they need their lights out.
Here’s how our bedtime routine goes. My son brushes teeth and uses the bathroom. Then my husband or I will read them a story. This is all done before their official bedtime. Then, I simply give them an option. I say “It’s time for bed, now. Would you like lights out or would you like to stay up and read for a bit?”
Unless my little guy is really tired, he always chooses to read awhile. I love that he is just learning to read and can’t even read all the words, but he will devour a book, flipping the pages and making up his own little story.
He gets to choose several books to have for his reading time, I start his bedtime music, his essential oil diffuser (this makes for a great transition time for relaxation!) and tell him I will be back up to turn his reading light off when it’s time.
Summer reading incentives
You can sign up for a summer reading program at pretty much any library in the country. If your local library does not have a summer reading program, then create one at home, with rewards for reading books. You can use a Monopoly (or Life) board and allow your child to move one space for each book he reads. Or if you want to have more fun, let him roll the dice each time he reads a book and have prizes available for passing certain points.
Make sure the rewards are something very desirable. If your child values time with you more than toys, then set a date together doing his favorite thing. If he values a certain toy, let him earn it. Or let him earn a chance to get out of his regular chores. Take him to his favorite restaurant. Just have fun with it and he will, too.
There are some other tips for how to handle summer reading in my 2015 Confident Mom Summer Survival Calendar as well!
Read the book before you can see the movie
When my older kids were younger we did this a lot. Now we are at wan age where not many children’s movies have books!! But we will continue this pattern as our youngest grows up, looking for those opportunities.
Family reading of a popular book that has a movie is a great activity. You can do this with old releases too, by reading the book and then renting the movie. So, if your child is looking forward to seeing the next Chronicles of Narnia movie, the next Harry Potter movie or the next Lemony Snicket movie, they’ll have to read the book first.
What tips have you used for developing a love of reading with your kids?