- Integrate Reading into Real Life: Show children that reading can be both practical and fun. Try reading recipes and creating goodies together, or read a story and then re-enact a favorite scene for other family members, complete with props and basic sets.
- Ask Your Pet to Lend an Ear: Encourage your children to read aloud to the family dog or a favorite stuffed animal. Your youngsters will get to practice their reading, and pets make great listeners.
- Create an Intimate Space: Make reading exciting with indoor “campouts.” Use sheets and chairs to help your kids make tents, pile blankets and pillows inside, and bring snacks and a stack of books. Reading with a flashlight will add novelty to the activity.
- Reward Reading Comprehension: Set aside one night each week for a “quiz night,” when you can read to your kids and give them rewards, such as money to set aside for more books, for answering comprehension questions correctly.
- Throw a Book Party: Make reading a social activity. Invite a few of your child’s friends to your house and ask them to bring a favorite book. Provide snacks and games that incorporate reading.
- Get Involved Locally: Check area libraries, bookstores and even bank branches. They will often host story hours or summer reading programs for kids, offering incentives for reading a certain number of books.
- Think Outside the Box – or Book: You don’t need to use books alone to encourage kids to read. Ask your child to read things like street signs and menus when you are out and about, or put closed captioning on the TV so he can see as well as hear the words of his favorite shows.
- Give Them a Choice: Set aside an hour or two of quiet time during the day, and tell your kids they can either read or take a nap during that period. Letting them choose to read will remind them that they can choose reading at other times, too.
- Write Stories Together: Reading and writing go hand in hand. Write stories with your kids one word at a time – you write one word, they read it and write one word of their own – until you have a story you created together.
- Play to Their Interests: Let your kids read about subjects they already enjoy. From Pokemon to ponies, if they are fascinated by a topic, they will love reading about it.
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