Paul Evans

You may be ready to buy children's books online or go to your local book shop. If your child is showing little interest in reading, there is hope. Sometimes mums and dads have to get sneaky, but you can still turn your child into a reader, even if he is reluctant about it. To see why reading is such an important activity, see Reading Pockets                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

The Early Bedtime Reading Trick

One of my favourite ways to get my kids to read is something they hopefully will not figure out until they have kids of their own. Two words “Early Bedtime”. You might be wondering how an increase in sleep can help your child to spend more time reading. Well, here's the trick. Set their bedtime for 45 minutes to an hour before you need their lights out.                                                                                                                                             

Here's how our bedtime routine goes. The kids brush teeth and use the bathroom. Then I read them their stories. This is all done before their official bedtime. Then, I simply give them an option. I say “It's time for bed with their special blanket, now. Would you like lights out or would you like to stay up and read for a bit?”

                                                                                                                                                                                         Unless they are really tired, they'll always choose to read awhile. I do not have to beg nor manipulate them into reading. In fact, they think it's their idea and they have grown to love their chance for a 'late' bedtime. Then, I back off. I don't try to instruct them in any way, nor help them choose books. This is their time. They can choose whichever book they like and look at it however they like until I come in to kiss them goodnight and turn their lights out. Of course, if they want me to stay and listen to them read, I'm more than happy to comply. Try it. It works.                                                                                                                                                          

Summer reading incentives

You can sign up for a summer reading club for your kids with chatterbooks run by the reading agency, if your local library does not have a summer reading program. You could also create one at home, with rewards for reading books. You can use a Monopoly board. Allow your child to move one space for each book they read. Or if you want to have more fun, let them roll the dice each time he reads a book and have prizes available for passing certain points.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Make sure the rewards are something very desirable. If your child values time with you more than toys, then set a day out together doing their favourite thing. Going shopping together to look at new dress or trainers can be a great draw. If he/she values a certain toy, let him earn it. Or let him earn a chance to get out of his regular chores. Take him to his or her favourite restaurant. Just have fun with it and they will, too.                       

Read the book before you can see the movie

This is a standard in our home. We won't go see any Movie until we've read the book. Whether my husband and I read the book to the kids or they read it alone, each member of the family can go see the movie after the book is read. So, if your child is looking forward to seeing the next big movie, they'll have to read the book first.                                                                                                                                                                                                 

That’s it. Three easy ways to turn your child into a reader for life.                                                                                       

 Blog by Gillian Evans  

CO-Founder of Kidieez, buy & sell second-hand kids’ clothing and accessories 

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