We all know that reading is (probably) the most important skill a child should learn. Without reading, you can’t really do, well, anything.
But we don’t just want our kids to read because they have to. We want them to read because they want to. And that means making free reading an important part of every day.
The issue, though, is that kids who are on the active side might not be that interested in reading, especially for pleasure. And that’s why I’m sharing four easy ways to encourage free reading with active kids!
Try these simple tips to get your active learners reading! They’ve genuinely worked for our active kids, even our children who have ADHD!
Need more great kid lit suggestions? Check out our list of 100 memorable picture books for preschoolers too!
Disclosure: I am a BookShark brand ambassador and am receiving free curriculum as part of my role.
4 Ways to Encourage Free Reading for Active Kids
Images c/o: get4net & FarmVeldman / depositphotos
1. Make reading time extra special.
If your active kids are resistant to reading on their own, turn reading time into an extra special occasion. Get out sleeping bags, build an indoor fort (using a table and a bedsheet), and let the kids read by flashlight while they’re “camping out”.
Or make reading into a high tea occasion. Have the kids dress up in their fanciest clothes, make tea and scones, and let them take turns reading a few lines in their most elegant speaking voices.
The key is to turn reading into entertainment, instead of just sitting down and looking at words. After a couple of occasions, they’ll want to know what happens next in one of the stories and ask to read more before your next special reading time.
2. Start a family reading challenge.
Get the whole family involved in reading by creating a short family reading challenge. Draw a bar graph on a piece of posterboard and hang it in the family room. Tell the kids that once the family finishes reading a certain number of books that month you’ll throw an ice cream party.
Be sure to fill the graph up as each book is completed. Before you know it, the kids will be begging to go to the library to get books of their own.
3. Choose stories with lots of pictures.
A book with lots of text can be intimidating to anyone, even grown-ups. So active kids who have little interest in reading need plenty of visual input to keep their interest. Picture books are a great way to get kids interested in stories and how they develop.
Once your active children are interested in following stories in general, they’ll be more open to chapter books and larger works. You might even try an illustrated version of a complex book, such as a graphic novel adaptation of a classic, and then let them read the original work to compare the two.
4. Use a book-based homeschool curriculum.
A simple way to encourage free reading with active kids is to use a homeschool curriculum that is centered on books. We’re using BookShark with our youngest child this year and the entire program is based around classic children’s books.
Our first book for our history lesson this year is Charlotte’s Web, which my first-grader is thoroughly enjoying. She never wants to stop reading when we reach the end of our assigned portion for the day. That’s always a good sign. 🙂
We’re also reading The Usborne Book of Peoples of the World, as well as Mother Goose Rhymes and Favorite Poems of Childhood. And that’s just for history!
How do you encourage free reading with your active kids? Have you been able to turn your wiggly little ones into readers? Share your tips!
See more resources for reading with homeschoolers below!
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