With warm weather here, kids (and adults!) are eager to be outdoors. With the school year ending soon, reading remains one of the best ways to keep kids self-learning new concepts, history, and new vocabulary words. Not to mention – reading a book is a great, low-energy activity to pass the time when the weather is hot!
It can be a challenge to encourage a child to pick up and read if they really want to be playing video games or playing outside. Rather than force a book into their hands, here’s six other ways to keep kids “reading” and learning, and hopefully investigating more books on their own afterwards!
Try an Audiobook Instead:
Believe it or not, audiobooks are good for kids – while it’s not quite the same as reading comprehension, having to process what they’re hearing is certainly good for listening comprehension! There are many schools of thought too that audiobooks can encourage and motivate kids who struggle with reading, making books more accessible to them.
Great news: if you’ve got Amazon Prime, Spotify, an Audible account, or a card from the Toronto Public Library, you’ve already got some access to audiobooks! And all three services have thousands and thousands of kids’ books available – and books for you as well.
Start a Book Club:
Interacting with others about a story can bring it to life in a way that kids may not think of by themselves. Starting a weekly “book club” with your children will incentivize them to keep reading new books every week or two and think critically about what they have read on their own.
Be sure to give your club a name! And start with a book that your child has already read to give them the gist of how the club works. Make some questions fun and silly to spark debate – e.g. when discussing Green Eggs and Ham, ask kids if they think the eggs were laid by a green chicken. Once you have your first successful Book Club, choose a new book and “meet” next week at the same time!
Let a Celebrity Read to Them:
If you’ve heard about celebrities reading books, but haven’t figured out where to find it, check out https://www.storylineonline.net/. Storyline Online is a program of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, a nonprofit organization that develops these videos for children around the world entirely from gifts, grants and donations.
Watch One of the Thousands of Movies Based on Books:
From Harry Potter, to Old Yeller, to Ender’s Game and everything in between, any one of the streaming services that you’re probably already subscribed to has some of the books for kids and young adults that have been adapted for the big screen.
Believe it or not, this is a great way to introduce kids to a new author who has lots and lots of books (some of which may not have been made into movies yet) – like Roald Dahl.
Magazines Count – Even Recipe Magazines:
Reading is fun but doing things you read about can be even more fun. One of the great things about reading magazines is they’re full of wonderful ideas for things to do and make complete with lots of beautiful pictures to spark the imagination.
From organizing, to crafts, to finding a new cookie or dinner recipe to try out, a magazine might just be the perfect way to get a child reading without them ever realizing that they’re doing so. And it might just encourage them to clean and redecorate their room! (Hey, it could happen.)
Adapt Your Favourite Books for a Home Theatre Production:
This last one is ideal for kids who love to act larger than life. Have them take their favourite short story, learn the lines, and put on a play for the family! Short stories rife with possibilities for your budding actors include books like Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
We hope you let us know which one your child loves doing best!
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