1. Swap Fortnite for an audiobook.
Yes, audiobooks count as reading—and they can help children do it better and with exercised imagination. “Hearing someone reading a book confidently is a great way to experience fluency, which is the ability to read a text accurately, quickly, and with good expression,” ( must quote who said this if in “” )
2. Model the love of reading.
Children take cues from adults. When you grow up surrounded by junk food, you like junk food. When you grow up surrounded by books, you like books.
3. Theme your nook with books.
A quiet, cozy, full-of-books nook is a must. Kids love forts, so just draping two chairs with a blanket can do the trick. But working with your child to make it an area where he/she/they’d want to hang out makes reading time even more appealing. Consider a beach theme: towels on the floor, a beach umbrella propped against the wall, a poster of the ocean, and sand buckets to house the books with some seashells too. Other fun possibilities includes: a pirate’s cove, rain forest, or spaceship.
5. Stash books all over.
Surrounding kids with books at an early age gets them hooked. Curate a basket to reflect the current season—they’ll be excited to see new titles and tying them to what’s going on that month will bolster their interest. No holiday on the horizon? Hit the library for topics your kid is currently digging. Leave them out (even on the floor of the car!) and they will pick them up. Don’t keep books up on shelves. Let little kids touch them, carry them around, even take waterproof ones into the bath. Books are no night only habit. Start forming the habit in everyday living scenarios.
6. Read aloud—even when they don’t need it.
Reading aloud is both educational and social, so there are layers of value there. Plus, children learn to read best—and to love it most—when they hear countless stories over many years in a meaningful context (think cuddling on a parent’s lap). Listening also gives tired readers a break.
7. Turn your library visits into adventures.
Lean on librarians—they’re paid to make reading magical for kids. Check in at the front desk before hitting the stacks to see what kind of activities might be going on. Bookmark the website, too, so you can see upcoming events. And be sure to get each of your children a library card. It will help them take ownership of the reading experience.
10. Ask questions.
This enhances comprehension—and enjoyment. (It’s no fun if they don’t get what’s going on.) It’s not about grilling, it’s about checking in. Ask which characters he likes best, what he thinks will happen next, what he would do in that situation. If you over-focus on letters and sounds at the expense of the story, children aren’t as likely to become good readers. If you’re a good reader, you read fast—you’re not looking at every letter, you’re reading for meaning, which is what fuels the reading process.