How to encourage reading habits

What's the best way to help your kid to build good reading habits? Challenge him, of course! These fun weekly tasks will definitely keep him motivated.

By Today's Parent

How to encourage reading habits

Photo: Stocksy

The school year has come to an end, but that doesn't mean learning has to. Reading is a great way to keep kids thinking all summer long—but getting them to do it isn't always easy. To build good reading habits over the summer break (and motivate your reluctant reader to crack a book), we're serving up fun weekly challenges.

Week 1: Write down the titles of books on slips of paper and put them in a jar. Let your kid pick from the jar to decide which book you'll read together. Tip: If you have kids at different reading levels, have each make their own jar.

Week 2: Have your kid trade a book with a friend. There’s no better way to discover new stories than sharing some of your favourites. Plus, chances are pretty good that your kiddo and her friend will have a good chat about the books after they're done reading each other's picks.

Week 3: Make a reading Bingo card to inspire and challenge kids all summer long. To keep them motivated, offer up fun prizes each time they get Bingo.

Week 4: If you have a kid who’s already reading independently, challenge him to read a whole book to a younger brother or sister—it’s a great way for siblings to spend some quality time together. If you have an only child or your little ones aren’t reading yet, invite an older cousin, neighbour or friend over for some reading practice.

Week 5: Everything’s better in a fort! Grab some blankets and pull off the couch cushions to make a kid-approved cave, and then hunker down with some snacks and a stack of books for reading time. Tip: A book about monsters or giants is perfect for reading in a fort.

Week 6: Read a book that inspired a movie. Whether it’s a more advanced book like Harry Potter or a picture book like Curious George, your kid will feel a sense of achievement when watching the film after they’ve read the book. If you feel like giving them a little challenge, ask them what parts of the movie weren’t featured in the book.

Week 7: Who says reading only has to do with fiction? Try reading a children’s magazine or website with your kid and get them to tell you all about the cool, new facts they’ve learned.

Week 8: Get your kid to read a book from your childhood. Then, ask him what he likes best about it and share any fond memories, stories or thoughts you have about it, too.

Check back next week for more challenges to get your kid reading!