5 Great Ways to Motivate Kids to Read

Thanks to Random House for this great guest post!

Reading a great book is a magical way for kids to be transported to new worlds and to learn new perspectives, ideas and lessons. If you are a parent or a teacher with a stubborn reader on your hands, or are simply looking for that extra dose of encouragement to motivate daily reading, don’t miss these five fab tips!

1.Introduce kids to a new author: If kids don’t connect with the writing style of a particular author, it can put them off of reading altogether. How can you help? Mix it up and let them choose different authors and types of stories regularly to inspire them. If they connect quickly with a specific author, and their tone and narrative, research other titles from that author for your child’s next read. Master storytellers like Newberry Medalist Jerry Spinelli have written books that resonate far beyond the back cover. Check out his latest book, The Warden’s Daughter for kids 9 to 12.

This thought-provoking work is perfect for pre-teens as it follows a strong female protagonist of the same age in a transformative tale filled with loss and redemption. Lessons of empathy, kindness and compassion juxtaposed with the stark setting of a prison where her father works, makes this a one-of-a-kind read that will keep your child enthralled from beginning to end. You can buy it here from Random House Children’s Publishing.

2. Choose a book that has been or will be made into a movie: Engage with your child and connect with their thought process through reading by choosing a book that is also a motion picture. If the motivation to finish reading a book is to watch the movie together, you’ll launch creative and thoughtful conversation with your child about their likes and dislikes by comparing the book and the movie.

3. Set up a reading nook/fort: Transform a bland and boring corner of the family room in your house into a welcoming place to read with a few pillows and fluffy blankets. It’s much easier for your child to lose themselves in a great story when they have a cozy and comfortable corner conducive for quality reading time. Add a small bookshelf wallpapered in pages of their favorite book for that extra special touch.

4. Offer them a fun reading snack: Food is a guaranteed motivator for kids when it comes to any activity – reading too! Package up a cute and fun reading snack for your kids that they can only have when they are reading (possibly in their reading nook or fort). Try these free printable bookworm tags and bag up a few gummy worms for your child to indulge in while they get lost in a good book.

5. Read with them: Choose a new book that piques the interest of your child but is also interesting to you! Read to each other, taking turns reading pages or chapters out loud. Not only will you both be invested in the outcome of the story, but reading out loud will help your child learn new words and proper pronunciations, as well as build confidence for reading out loud in school. If you’ve built the reading nook/fort large enough for two - reading together in the fort is highly encouraged!

Looking for more great tips on reading, check out our Book Report Survival Guide for Busy Parents!