Still, it takes some work (and sometimes a lot of work) to raise readers. Try a few tips below to see what works for your child.
1. Repetition Books:
Kids love repetitive phrase books. Find a few that your child can memorize with you. When you get to the repetitive part, let him say it with you. Some great ones from Reading Rockets are: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst; Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.; Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss; and The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper.
2. Switch It Up:
Your kid might love the same book, but you might be going crazy from it! Try reading that same ol’ book with a funny accent. Or switch some of the nouns so your child will catch your mistakes. There’s a fun game called, Spaghetti & Meatballs, where you replace every “s” word with spaghetti and every “m” word with meatballs. It turns out pretty silly, and will keep an emerging reader engaged.
3. Start Chapter Books Young:
Once your child can sit through a long picture book, you can try reading short chapter books together. Some kids can appreciate an easy chapter book as young as 4 or 5. You’ll both likely be more interested in the storyline, and the suspense in a good chapter book, read over a few days, will keep your child engaged. Some good ones to start with are Junie B. Jones, Magic Tree House and Ramona Quimby books.
4. Read Out Load to Older Kids:
You’d be surprised how an older child will listen to a good book read aloud, sometimes even into the tween years. Can’t get your kid started on Harry Potter even though you know she’s ready? Read it out loud. Some great family series are Peter and the StarCatchers, Boxcar Children and of course, Harry Potter.
5. Visit the Library:
This may sound obvious, but here’s the reality: most of us don’t get to the library enough. If you can, try to get there twice a month at least. Then, load up on as many books as you can carry. If new books are sitting in the house, most kids will take a look.
6. Tune into Audio Books
Either through the library or through an app like Audible, there are so many ways to consume books on the go. Try out a family book in the car, for roadtrips or even around town. Or have your kids listen to books on an app while doing chores or hanging out at home.
Have some tricks up your own sleeve to get your kids to read? Snap a photo or send a tip our way by tagging us on Facebook @Kidsfirstpediatricpartners. Happy reading!