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Get Your Kids to Read (vs. Playing Video Games) this Summer

School’s out for summer and your kids are thrilled about the prospect of long, lazy days playing the newest video games.  You want them to have fun, but would prefer that they read vs. play another video game. 

When you and your kids have vastly different ideas of how they should spend their time this summer, it can be tough to find common ground.  The key is to make your ideas – reading books! – exciting for your kids.

  • Figure out what topics appeal to them.  If they’re into the latest Nintendo race car games, suggest car racing books.  If Wii Sports is more their speed, look for stories about famous athletes.
  • Make getting new books an adventure.  Go on a special trip to the bookstore or library and let them pick out whatever books they’d like.  Buy them refreshments in the bookstore’s café or go out for lunch after a library visit.  Read together when you get home.
  • Develop your own Book Club.   Invite siblings, friends and neighbors to join, and ask each child to select a book for the group to read.  Have a Book Club party and serve snacks related to the book’s theme- such as a tea party for a Fancy Nancy book or noodles and gummy worms for a book about snakes.
  • Use the rewards system.  For every 10 books that your kids read, allow a half-hour of uninterrupted video game time.
  • Attend story hours.  Many bookstores and libraries hold regular story times, and they’re usually free. Some of these events also include crafts, puppets or snack time.
  • Set up a regular “reading time.”  Some parents enjoy reading books with their children each evening before bed.  Others build reading into their morning routines.  Be consistent so your children can eagerly anticipate this cozy time with you.

If you make reading time special for your kids, you will instill a love of reading that will last throughout their lives. How do you get your kids to enjoy reading?

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