How to make reading a fun experience

Oftentimes at parent-teacher conferences, parents will mention they are having a tough time engaging their child in reading. By the time they are reading independently, which typically happens in 3rd grade, it takes enjoyment and desire on the child’s end to keep them engaged.

If you’re finding yourself in this situation, here are five ways to spark interest and make reading less of a chore.

1. Find fun locations. Make every day an adventure by suggesting your child read in a fort, outside on the grass, or even on the trampoline! Whatever fun environment comes to mind will be a memorable experience for them and will make reading fun. 

2. Read to an audience. As our kids get older, we tend to think they don’t have to read out loud any longer. However, reading out loud keeps them accountable, and it can be made into an enjoyable experience by including an audience for them. Whether the audience is your family or a crowd of stuffed animals, dolls or action figures, this is another way to spice up their reading time. 

3. Search for a series of interests. Finding a series that truly grasps their full attention may be all it takes for a child to enjoy reading. Once they have discovered this series, reading is no longer a negative activity. Be your child’s ally, and take them on a hunt for their new favorite series. Whether you spend a day at the local library or bookstore, make this a fun hunt.

4. Make a family book club. What better way to spend time with your family than to meet up periodically to discuss a book you are all reading? Find a book that best fits the level of the children in your home. If the ages vary, convince your older children to join to encourage their younger siblings. Once a book is chosen, decide what day to meet to discuss the book. If it is a chapter book, then you can discuss a chapter at a time. Or if it is a picture book, then you can meet once to discuss the book overall. Add themed snacks to make this even more memorable.

5. In a costume. Whether your child chooses a costume that themes with the book, or they just pick their favorite character, reading in a costume can add spark to their reading session.

In what other ways can we inspire children to enjoy reading? Let us know at Arizona PBS KIDS on Facebook.

About the author

Marissa Will is the mother of two, Olivia (6) and Logan (4). Writing was her first passion: she’s a freelance writer and a Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication alumna. Will is currently educating the future leaders of tomorrow: She has spent the past nine years educating third grade with a master’s degree in elementary education from Northern Arizona University-Yuma.

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