The Trick to Getting Your Kids Hooked on Reading

Parents go crazy trying to instill the love of reading in all kids. They want their children to read each night, every night. Teachers, too! Kids, on the other hand, see their nightly reading requirement as just another classroom lesson. And parents—exhausted by the time the bedtime reading comes around—just want their kids to sit down (willingly!) and read happily.

Love of books comes from having an emotional impact from a story. When a book is treated as yet another lesson or chore, the feeling of ‘have to’ immediately gets kids to put up a defense mechanism.

Parents, your kids can love books. They can love to read. However, the treatment of reading, of the book and of the entire literary experience has to be positive.

Get ready to rustle a few pages, because your typical reading routine with your child is about to enter a new chapter:

Throw out the clock.

Most kids dislike reading, because it feels like another assignment: read for 15 minutes, and then check it off on the binder. Nightly reading minutes are good in theory, but not so great for motivation.

Instead, encourage kids to read a chapter a night. That way, they are becoming engrossed in moments of the book…full moments. Not 15-minute increments of moments. If your child has trouble reading alone, then read to them. And read with feeling…have fun with being a storyteller as you read. Don’t be afraid of sounding or acting silly; voices and silly sounds make the story come alive, so go with it.

Make your child the star.

You can buy books that feature kids at the center of the story with their favorite characters. Personalization services, like, your child and their friends become part of the journey. There’s no better way to immerse your child into a thrilling reading experience!

Read the book, and then watch the movie.

Choose a book in your child’s grade-level that also has been made into a movie or includes their favorite movie characters. Read the book together and talk about the characters and adventures after each chapter. Then, watch the movie version of the book. Discuss the plot differences between the movie and the book. Kids can see that, oftentimes, movies cut out many adventures within the book when a story is adapted for film.

Spiderman comes to life in so many different kinds of books!

Say ‘yes’ to reading.

Sometimes a child will find a book that seems beyond their level or even below their level. While it’s easy to hand them another story, sometimes it’s also good to just let them read their choice.

Reading is reading! Books above grade-level also allows you to read with your child and to enter into discussions about the book. However, if a book contains themes that are too mature for your child, don’t hesitate to urge them to more suitable choices.

Reward readers.

To further foster positivity around reading, create a reward system for your child. For every five books that your child reads, allow them to have a privilege or a special treat. Discuss as a family what the book goals should be and what the rewards system will entail. Have kids create reading sticker charts so they can track their progress.

Reading is a joy when kids begin to grow a love for stories and books. With the right encouragement, kids will become so engrossed in the adventures that they won’t want to put the book away. And that literary love is the magic ingredient of education that all parents and teachers hope that every child discovers. Because reading is knowledge and knowledge is powerful.

How Should You Celebrate World Book Day With Your Child?

March 2nd marks the 20th anniversary of World Book Day, which champions authors and books in a worldwide celebration of reading. World Book Day is all about getting children in over 100 countries around the world to celebrate reading loudly and proudly.

The main goal is to get children to appreciate the pleasures of book and readings by giving them access to books of their own, which is why many countries provide schools and classrooms with vouchers and free books.

But what if your local school doesn’t participate in World Book Day? Whether your child is a reluctant reader or a voracious bookworm, there are endless ways to celebrate World Book Day and show your child the joys of reading.

Personalized Books

There’s nothing quite like having a personalized book. You’re reading a story and suddenly the characters address you by name. Your child’s favorite characters are suddenly talking to them and mentioning facts about their life and their family members within the pages of a book — it’s a special, personalized experience that encourages the joy of reading by engaging your child directly.

If you want to make your little one a lifelong reader, give them a personalized book to celebrate World Book Day. Any book makes a great gift, but this will ensure they have a book that is truly one of a kind.

Read a Favorite Book Together & Engage With It In a New Way

The whole purpose of World Book Day is to get children to celebrate reading, so what better way to celebrate than to actually read. It’s a perfect day to revisit an old favorite — either re-read your child’s favorite book or take the opportunity to introduce them to one of yours. If it’s a well-loved book, encourage your child to engage with the story in a new way.

Have them design a new book cover for it or create a list of questions they’d ask the author or illustrator if they got the chance. Getting kids to think critically about what they’re reading will help increase their engagement with and love of books.

Give Back

If your child is already a bookworm, encourage their philanthropic side and help them foster a love of reading in others. Donate books to your school or local library to increase the offerings. Have older children sign up to volunteer to read to younger students and share their love of reading.

If you want to get really fancy, organize a readathon where the proceeds go to a literacy charity to help disadvantaged children acquire the skills necessary to foster a love of literature.

Have a Costume Party

If your little one and their friends love books, have a World Book Day Party. Invite the children to dress up as their favorite literary characters and give a prize (a book, of course!) for the most detailed or inventive costume. If you really go all out, you can even have literary themed snacks and activities, including a book-related scavenger hunt or a word-search. Make a love of reading come to life!

Tell Your Own Story

Celebrate reading and storytelling by encouraging your child to write their own. They could write about their own life or create a completely fictional story from scratch. Maybe they want to write several pages or perhaps they’d prefer to illustrate their tale. No matter how they tell it show them the joys of being a storyteller in addition to being a reader.

No matter how you choose to celebrate World Book Day, know that you’re joining families and educators around the world in championing the joys and enrichment of books and reading.

Keep the Kiddos Engaged During their School Break

Now that the Christmas break is winding down for some, here are 3 quick tips to work in reading and critical thinking (if you haven’t done so) with the kids while off from school.

Keep Reading!

A Book is a gift you can open again and again

It can be easier than you think to make reading relevant during the holidays. You don’t have to give your kids assignments or ask them to write up a book report when they’re done. Reading over the break can be fun, and you can work in some quality family time as well.

Since it is the holiday season, it seems like a no brainer to read holiday themed books throughout the season, but make it a family activity.  The holidays are about family and spending time with one another, so you can incorporate reading into these cherished moments that you can remember for every future holiday to come. You can read aloud to your children, have them read to you, or do a mix of both!

But remember, you don’t have to stick to holiday related books. You can make other traditions and memories by sharing a book series with your children and reading the next installment each year or any other sort of rendition to this idea.

Aside from sharing books with your children, you can also gift them books as well! Personalized books can help reluctant readers garner interest in the act of reading, but they make great gifts for any child as well! To help keep kids engaged, you can have them write as well. Ask them to write out a holiday adventure, ask them to write thank you cards to family members that brought gifts or have them write in a journal about their holiday experience to have as a keepsake.

Take a Trip
Going on educational field trips is also a great way to make sure that kids keep learning and having fun over the summer, but this activity can easily be adjusted to meet the holiday season as well. Visit a museum or science center, or simply incorporate educational games into holiday trips if you will be busy traveling to see family. Ask kids to read license plates, try to spot some from as many states as you can! Have your kids read signs and try to help with navigation. See what landmarks they remember to and from your destination. Teach them about the places you are going and try to look up interesting facts about your town, family members’ towns and other locales you may visit over the break.

Take Some Time Away From Screens
Making sure that mobile devices are off for a good period of time will help ensure that your kids are engaged with family activities instead of being engrossed in the web, an app or anything else. But you don’t have to ban them entirely. If your kids play on a phone, tablet or computer, try to encourage that they play educational games and keep their screen time to a minimum. You can help to encourage this by having plenty of other activities available such as reading, family game time, cooking, and anything else you might do over the holidays.

We encourage these tips throughout the year, however, most importantly, when kids are off from school, because they are home and easier to incorporate lots of activities throughout the day instead of the normal school routine.

Most of all let them have fun but make sure it’s productive fun.

From our family to yours Have a Happy and Wonderful New Year!  See you all in 2016!