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How to Get Kids Excited about Reading

Reading can broaden your children’s horizons, inspire their creativity and give them an edge in learning new subjects at school. But, how do you get your children excited about reading when so many other things, like video games, television and the Internet, are clamoring for their attention, too? Start with online book retailers like AbeBooks and Indigo Books and Music, where you and your children can find reading materials and audio books that capture their imagination and encourage them to try something new. Here are some other ways to get your children excited about reading:

 

Start Early

The best way to get your children eager about reading is to show them how much fun it can be. Start by reading aloud to them when they’re young, and get them involved in reading activities and story hours at your local library. While you’re there, let them pick out their own books that you can read together at home. Later, when they can read on their own, have them read books aloud to you or to a younger sibling.

Lead by Example

Show your children that you love to read, too, by reading in your spare time instead of staring at the TV or playing computer games. If your child is interested, set aside an hour or two every week for your family to sit down together, read and talk about their books. Just don’t force the issue if your child turns you down.

Make It Easy

Keep your house filled with a variety of reading materials and genres, from fiction and biographies to nonfiction and magazines. Audio books on tape or CD are a good idea, too, because they can bring a book to life and help less-skilled readers learn new words and how to use them.

Offer Goals and Rewards

If your child is reluctant to read on his own, try to set some reading goals. When your preschooler reads 50 or 100 books, for example, take him out for ice cream or to get that special toy he's been asking you to buy. Reward older kids and teens by taking them out of school early to have lunch or go shopping when they reach their reading goals. The rewards don’t have to be expensive, as long as they get your child interested in picking up a book or two. 

Don’t Pressure Them

If you have a child who is just not interested in reading, try to get him to read something short, like a book of short stories or a comic book featuring a favorite character. Just don’t force him to start reading. You also can encourage him to learn more about the things he is interested in. If your child loves to play sports, pick up a book about his favorite sport or player, a sports magazine or maybe a book that teaches him how to play that sport better. The same can be said about any number of topics, from cars to fantasy to fashion.

Posted on Jan 17, 2014

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