My daughter is only 5 and already I feel like the book battle is being lost to the TV and tablet too often. Slowly I’ve found ways to inspire her to turn the page. Here are some practices I’ve found helpful with getting my kids excited to read.
THE CHOICE. The first rule I found in my house: Let them choose. It’s so easy to pick your favorite books you read as a child and expect your little ones to love it just as much. That’s not always the case. The key is finding what excites them, what they’re passionate about and giving them all kinds of options. My daughter loves doing crafts, so sometimes we read Oriental Trading magazine. The art of reading really comes in all forms.
MAKE THEM STORYTELLERS. Talk about using your imagination. I discovered And Then, Story Starters, which is a collection of 20 story beginnings. Each of the story cards (which are beautiful, by the way) have an interesting start that eventually will end with “and then.” At that point, your child picks up the story and finishes it. It challenges creativity; as a parent, don’t be surprised if you find yourself authoring a twist or turn, too.
GET CARDED. I’ve found my children love anything if we make it an event. Going to get their library card was a big deal. I hyped it up for days. Once there, they went through the process of registering for their very own card, signing it and testing out the scanner. The experience made it an adventure and more importantly began a new weekly tradition of setting aside a time to celebrate books.
GO OLD SCHOOL. What got you excited to read as a child? I adored Reading Rainbow and had no problem finding DVDs of episodes for really cheap.