From comic books to movie tie-ins and book clubs, there's more than one way to get a child excited about reading. Here are ten fun ideas from Circle of Moms members, including myself. All are road-tested with kids — and all are a lot more fun than nagging! (Related: 4 Creative Ways to Practice Math at Home.)
1. Practice Shared Reading
Shared reading is a great way to get children interested in books. How much of the book you read and how much your child reads will depend on his willingness. Monica G.’s son reads a paragraph, then she reads a paragraph. Julie U. is able to stretch it further: "They read a page, then I read a page," she reports.
2. Go to Book Signings
Jennifer C. suggests getting your child interested in a real live author. Taking her daughter to book signings by children’s authors (and buying their books) helped spark a discussion about the process of writing a book. Her daughter was so inspired that she wrote her own book to share with her classmates!
3. Find a Relatable Character
Many moms find that reading about a character your child knows or can relate is a great hook. Robin M. suggests finding a whole series of books that feature the same characters. She points out: "They will get to know the characters and look forward to the next book."
4. Embrace the Knock-Knock Jokes
When my oldest child started reading independently, the first thing that caught her attention was a huge joke book. To this day, I have an unusually large repertoire of knock-knock jokes, but that’s okay. As moms Jodi and Cathy T. point out, if it gets them reading, let them read joke books, comic books or even cereal boxes!
5. Start a Family Book Club
Karen W. got her sons (now teenagers) into reading by involving the whole family. They chose a book, checked out multiple copies from the library and each read a chapter or two. At dinner the next night the whole family discussed what they’d read.
6. Start a Parent-Child Book Club
Circle of Moms member Julie N. had a similar idea. She started a mother-daughter book club with a few of her daughter’s friends and their moms. Every six weeks both the moms and daughters would read a book. "Then we would meet and talk about what we liked or didn't like about the book and chose the next one to read," she explains.
7. Watch the Movie First
Akeevia T. uses her son’s interest in movies as a springboard for reading. She takes him to the bookstore and lets him choose books about his favorite movies or characters.
8. Read the Book First
My son has a great shirt that he wears to the movies. It says, "The book was better." He only knows that because he reads the book first. Mom Lisa S. agrees; she has an agreement with her son that if he wants to see a movie based on a book, he has to read the book first.
9. Ask for Help Researching a Project
Another Circle of Moms member, Mary Z., asks her kids to help her research various topics. Because her kids think the research is for her and not for them (even though she chooses subjects they’re interested in), they're more willing to read up on the topic.
10. Feed Their Interests
One thing that moms often forget is that reading non-fiction books is still reading. Sometimes the sneakiest way to get kids to read is to help them read about what interests them most. Mom Tami M. says that once she discovered her son’s passions for sports, science, math, and animals it wasn’t hard to get him to read. He now loves to dive in to books about sports statistics and geography.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.