Are you looking for fun ways to get your kids to love reading without them even knowing? If so, you are in the right place! Growing up I spent countless hours up in a tree with piles of books at my side (and usually a little candy, too). And this love of reading carried me through many wonderful life transitions including meeting my husband who happened to work at the library of the university we attended. Score!
Aside from the fact that we are in our 11th year of homeschooling, even if we didn’t take the path of home education, I would have always made it a point to teach my children a love for reading. And today, I want to talk to you about some fun ways to get your kids to love reading too!
Ways to Get Your Kids to Love Reading
Family read-aloud time.
I am sure many of you do this already, but I have found that it can taper off as the children get older if we do not purpose to keep it going. With our frequent trips to the library, we always find a book that the entire family is interested in. And every day, at least once but sometimes more, we sit together and take turns reading aloud to our family.
When the children were younger, even when they couldn’t read, we’d let them take a turn by holding the book and pointing or talking about what they thought was going on. We found this to be extremely valuable as they felt a part of what was going on. And another added benefit is that by doing so we were already introducing them to important literacy skills that would help them down the road.
Our latest family reading time has been filled with the adventurous tale: Swiss Family Robinson. It is such a sweet, thought provoking, imaginative time of connecting and being together as a family. The neat thing is, my husband and I instituted the read aloud tradition together before we even had children – so it is something that we have always held very dear to our hearts.
Book related scavenger hunts.
This is a super fun one for us. Once or twice a month my husband and I will take several different books, taking the time to select passages out of each one to use as “clues” to make a wild goose chase of a hunt for the children to go on. It not only keeps them excited about reading, it inspires the younger ones to want to read even more. At the end we always do some sort of fun night of ice cream sundaes or s’mores as a reward for finding all the clues. This has been a major win for the entire family and only gets better as the children get older because the hunts become more challenging and prizes more amazing!
Skits about the books we read.
This is a HUGE hit with our family. We are all really quite natural in the drama/acting department so this is something we all look forward to. We’ll find a short story or poem to read. After we’re finished reading, we’ll assign parts to do the skit. It always ends in laughter and an increased understanding of content and comprehension for the children. And it also limits screen time because we are creating our own show!
Theme related book trips.
Before we take any trip, we always take a trip or two to the library to find books related to where we are going. This is always a really exciting part of traveling for the children. We have been able to do this while traveling around Europe (we lived in Germany for 3 years) and several of the states it has made such a large impact on our children. We also noticed that this has helped them retain what they are experiencing and it doesn’t even “feel” like learning.
This summer we are doing some traveling and have already begun to plan which books we’ll be taking and where. Even while driving the children read and look at their books to keep a look out for any of the major land marks. This has been a wonderful source of fostering the love our children have for reading as it is low pressure, and who doesn’t love an adventure?
Family devotion time.
This is honestly the part that my husband, children,and I look most forward to every day – our time together in the Bible. In the past, as soon as I found out I was pregnant, my dear husband read a particular Bible story every night over my womb. Once our babies come out, they join us in our family’s daily devotional time. This is the best way to start off our day. We also read the Bible every time we sit down to eat. It is something my husband instituted over 16 years ago as a way to keep our hunger for God as our number one priority. And it works.
What is nice about the list above is the simple fact that you can do these suggestions anywhere. We read on hikes, walks, at the park, on tourist tours, at the beach, at the pool, in restaurants, in the car, at home, and just about any place imaginable. And the best part is, we do it together as a family.
What unique ways does your family keep the love of reading alive? Leave a comment below as I’d LOVE to hear about it.