Looking for creative ways to get kids excited about reading? Here are five ideas, from special reading time to fun word games.
Parents and teachers, you know how hard it is for some kids to stay focused on a book! Of course there are lots of children who will happily read for hours on end, but there are many who would rather be running around outside, watching a show, playing a video game or just about anything else. The good news? There are lots of ways to get even the most reluctant readers excited about books! Here are five ideas to try:
1. Make it special.
Keep a specific shelf in the classroom or at home for all your kids’ books. Organize them by color or theme. Then help kids make collections in their Epic library in a similar fashion. For example, bucket animal books together, fantasy stories together and Christmas or holiday classics together. Having books organized can help kids find what they want to read and get them excited about their favorite topics.
You can also designate a time of the day for reading, whether that’s before bed or after they finish their homework. Make it even more enticing with a cozy cup of hot cocoa or a favorite snack. Setting aside a special reading time encourages kids to make this a habit and something special to look forward to.
2. Make it interactive.
When it comes to reading, engaging kids through games and interaction goes a long way! The goal is to get kids excited about learning to read. Many teachers incorporate this technique into their classroom. One idea is to do a word search. Ask kids to look out for words that rhyme or start with a certain letter. This will keep kids engaged and looking forward to uncovering one of these words on the following pages of a book.
You can also pick out vocabulary words from the book and ask kids to find those. In fact, Epic has a built-in feature that does just that! With Spotlight Words (only available with an Epic Family account), readers are presented with five words at the beginning of the book, and they’re challenged to find and collect (double tap) them all before they finish reading.
3. Make it personal.
Play into your kids’ interests. If your daughter loves playing in the snow or your son loves learning about dinosaurs, pick out books that have to do with those things. Kids are more likely to jump into a story when it’s about something they personally love. Fairies, dragons, cars, ballerinas, the environment, whatever it may be, there are books out there at their reading level!
Epic gives kids personalized book recommendations based on their previous reads. So they can easily discover more books about the things they want to read about, keeping them coming back again and again.
4. Make it fun.
Kids love when a grown-up reads the characters in different voices. So when you’re reading to them, try using funny voices for different characters. Then encourage your kids to start thinking of what the characters would sound like in their books.
There are so many fun Read-To-Me books on Epic that feature character voices—even of some of the most beloved characters, like Elmo from Sesame Street in Elmo Loves You. Other ways to make it fun are to read as a family where everyone voices a different character or takes turns reading.
5. Make it imaginative.
Books allow us to travel to different worlds and learn new things. Make sure to ask kids questions about what they are reading. Ask them to imagine themselves in their book character’s world and to describe what they see. Ask them what they would do if they were in the character’s shoes? This helps fuel their imaginations and boosts reading comprehension.
Another great way to make reading imaginative is through audiobooks. There are thousands of audiobooks on Epic that kids can listen to and let their imaginations run wild. With audiobooks, stories come to life with engaging narration, music and sound effects. Audiobooks can take the pressure off and allow kids to enjoy books above their reading level—a great way to get even the most reluctant or struggling readers excited about books.
We hope these help your kids fall in love with reading! Need help picking out books that meet them where they are? Check out our list of High-Interest Books for Reluctant Readers.