Having trouble with reluctant or uninterested readers? Reading open the doors to easier education of your kids, so it’s vital they learn to read, and better if they enjoy it. Try to make reading more fun for kids to build and keep their interest with these tips!
For some children, learning to read can be a challenging adventure. It seems everyone has a vested interest in a child’s ability to read. From a child’s teacher who wants to know she’s helping your child, Mom and Dad who are pushing and “encouraging”, and Grandma who’s excitedly waiting to hear their grandchild read.
All the pressure from the adults can put a damper on the fun and excitement for the child learning to read. And, with the loss of excitement can come the loss in desire to read.
But what if we were to take a step back and see things from our children’s eyes? Kids just want to have fun. (Did anyone else feel like dancing and singing to the tune of Girls Just Wanna Have fun?) If we, as parents, can find ways to make reading fun and enjoyable, our children may be more willing to sit down and read a book together.
Here are a few ideas you can do to take the pressure off and make reading fun for your child.
11 Ways to Make Reading More Fun For Kids
For new readers, “popcorn reading” can be a fun way to read the words he/she knows and pass on the words that are problematic.
To play: Have your child select a book that’s within their reading level. Each of you will take turns reading through the book aloud. When the person reading says the word “popcorn,” it is the other person’s turn to read.
This can be especially helpful when a child lacks the motivation to read a book (or chapter) all the way through. Sometimes the occasional break makes her feel better about reading more.
My daughter’s school has a system where they place an older “reading buddy” in class and read aloud together. My daughter’s always been a good reader, but having an older reader sitting with her gave her more confidence and piqued her interest a bit more.
This process can work at home as well for your younger kids. I’ve seen it in practice with my toddler who hasn’t always been very interested in books. But, having his big sister read to him helped him become more interested in books.
Allow an older sibling, cousin, or friend to be your child’s reading buddy. Without being under the watchful eye of an adult, you may find your child to experience less nervousness about reading aloud.
This one is fun, but you’ve gotta be careful about how you approach this, especially taking into account the child’s age.
Grab an older book and a highlighter. Sit down with your child and have her highlight every word on the page she can read. Once all the words she knows are highlighted, take a moment to look over the page to see how many words she can read. You could even count the words together.
Seeing her abilities in a visual way way can be quite the confidence booster for some people.
One of our favorite things to highlight is Highlights Magazines instead of books, since they’re full of activity pages anyway.
Toward the end of the day, and before your child is too tired, take a book and a flashlight to a dark room. Try to read the book by the light of the flashlight.
My daughter used to do this herself when she really began to read on her own. I found that this activity not only continued to build her reading skills, but helped her settle in for bed more easily at night. I think it helped make reading more fun because she felt like she was doing something she wasn’t supposed to do, too.
Once kids are exposed to fort-building, I don’t know one that doesn’t obsess over it.
If you don’t already have a fort inside the house or outside in the yard, help build one with your child. This building activity can be as simple as a blanket fort inside or a throw together plywood fort outside. It could also be more time-consuming like building a tree house. Whatever you build, make sure you both fit inside the fort and are able to get in and out easily.
Once complete, have your child bring a favorite reading book (or two). Get comfortable and read away together.
Pick a special corner of the home to become a “reading corner.” Have your child take part in picking a quiet, cozy spot or decorating it to make it a space he or she wants to spend more time in.
Some ideas include:
- Setting up a tent
- Adding bean bags or pillows
- hang posters or pictures on the wall
Take a Break
Although there’s nothing exciting about this idea, you’ll be surprised how excited your child might be that you’re taking a special break from the “to do list” to read with him or her. This slight break for you can make reading more fun for both of you!
Play Picture Detective
Before reading a story, have your child flip through the pages and predict what will happen in the story based on what they see in the pictures.
Afterward, read the book together to find out how close your child was!
Help your child associate an action with a word they’re struggling with. For this activity, pick one word your child particularly struggles with.
During a reading session, every time your child reads this particularly difficult word, you both stand up. The action associated with the word will help him or her remember it more easily.
This is a particularly great exercise and can making reading more fun for kinesthetic learners (children who learn through movement and touching).
I can’t think of anything more exciting than personalized story books.
Because your child will have to read the book to find out what kind of adventure they’ll be going on, they’re usually more motivated to read the book.
If your child is a reluctant reader, this can be an extra motivating factor.
Get New Books Regularly
While kids do tend to enjoy the same books in phases, they can become bored with the same old books.
Two ways to make reading more fun through new books is to:
a. Visit the library and allow your child to borrow a few books to read for the next week or two.
b. Monthly subscriptions that offer age-appropriate book deliveries can build the excitement over what books your child will be receiving! We tend to love this book subscription box.
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Sometimes all it takes to make reading more fun is some imagination and a change of scenery. Give your child time and plenty of patience as they learn to read. In order to make reading more fun for kids, it’s important not to stress about their reading skills or to be too demanding. Make reading a game if you want to build their interest!