12 Tips to get your child hooked on reading

Take trips to the library. Make it an event where your child can explore and discover what they like reading. They are allowed to take as many items as they like or none at all. No need to question their choices, let them try things out. Even if they don't end up reading what they picked (or anything at all) - go return the books and give them the opportunity to choose new ones. They learn about themselves each time. Do this on a regular basis, like monthly. Make them their own library card, they'll love this!

Let them choose what to read. When you go to the library or bookstore let them run loose and don't try to convince them to take anything else. You can always take something in addition and try to read it to them. Some materials really are all fluff, but they're still getting into the habit of reading, they will expand their interests when they're ready.

Ask the librarian for recommendations. A good librarian will talk to your child about their interests and issues with reading and recommend something that they would like in genre, topic, and even letter spacing, if necessary.

Play audiobooks and podcasts. Audio content is great. You don't learn spelling and grammar from it, but what's even more important is the vocabulary and range of concepts. Plus, it can always turn out to be a stepping stone. Audiobooks are commonly played in the car, but it's also great during playing with toys or doing chores. Even if it's in the background and the children don't seem to be paying attention - they often just don't show any signs of it. Audiobooks are also great when your child can't sit still and must move around.

Limit screen time. This is a big one. Families who allow limitless screens find that their child just isn't as interested in things that take more effort. We've got to help them here. Set a reading time for each day and stick to it. A life lesson even for adults is that sometimes you've got to get bored to do interesting things. For children with bad eyesight or dyslexia reading on a tablet may be a good idea for the customization options.

Try graphic novels! This seems to be some of the top advice from parents online. It just keeps coming up again and again. Graphic novels are very much still reading and they pique children's curiosity and imagination incredibly well. Many parents say their kids get absolutely hooked on this stuff and move on to more complex stuff like manga and later books.

Video games can have a lot of text. If your child is into games, but not reading, then give them something that has a lot of story to it. There are manga-type games that feature mostly static images, but let the player choose their own path and explore a whole world of possibilities.

Provide a quiet space. Make a cozy corner with books, where they can just sit around and grab things to read. If they like going to the library make them a shelf that feels like the library. Bookstores today can be quite pretty and a source of inspiration. If you've got multiple kids that like to make noise, set a quiet time for reading. Even if it's just one of them who actually reads.

Set an example. Do you enjoy reading? Read aloud to your kids. If you don't, well perhaps there's a way to figure out what you do like. In any case, reading a book or the newspaper will help your kids feel like it's natural to read, and gets them curious.

Read together. You can choose a book that you both like or you can each cuddle up and read what you like individually. If you're not super into reading, read articles online that you would anyway. Read something you've got to read for work and find what works. Audiobooks are also allowed here. You could go to their reading corner and just start reading, perhaps they'll join.

Join a book club. Your local library should help with this, or you can try Facebook groups. A book club means your child sees other kids their age reading and talking about this. Sometimes they have reading challenges with prizes. If no group is near you, perhaps there's a family of avid readers that you can have regular meetings with.

Watch read-aloud videos on Youtube. The video shows the actual book itself and someone just reads aloud. This is the furthest from an actual book, but sometimes if you don't have the time or patience, it can still engage the children to get into reading. In fact, a parent reported that this specific trick was what turned their child around to reading. You never know.

Now choose one or two items from this list and change your routine. The easiest and most fun is probably going to the library. Just pick a day and make it happen!

These are great tips, but not all children are the same. It's possible you need to set an example or check for medical issues.

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Jamie Larson