10 Non-Book Ways to Get Your Child Reading
People often think that their child isn’t a reader because he or she doesn’t like to curl up with a chapter book — but reading is so much more! You may have an undiscovered reader in your house. Try out these 10 non-book ways to get your child reading!
- Play board games. Scrabble or Boggle are two of many games centered around word building. Any other game, from Apples to Apples to Head Banz, uses at least a little bit of reading. Many young children feel a great sense of accomplishment when they can finally read the cards in games on their own.
- Collect trading cards. I know what you’re thinking . . . “No way. Not another blasted set of those cards!” I feel your pain, but, hey, if your child loves them and uses them, what better way to get your child to read. There are card series to appeal to most interests, from sports to space travel.
- Learn “how to.” Find a how-to book or online article for your child to learn how to do something new that he or she is excited about. Encourage your child to find out how by reading about it.
- Channel your inner Betty Crocker. Plan and prepare a meal with your child. This is a good opportunity for your child to learn some new vocabulary. Cooking also uses a number of math skills, so two birds, one stone.
- Make cards. Help your child make his or her own cards for birthday invitations, thank you notes, or for other special occasions. Provide help as needed to write a personal message in the cards.
- Create signs and labels. This one goes out to all my Type A friends. Who doesn’t go crazy for labeling? Help your early reader build vocabulary by creating stickers or signs for his room that identify toys or furniture: “bike,” “desk,” etc.
- Take a road trip. Use an online map service to print directions from one place to your destination. Have your child play navigator and read directions as you drive.
- Put on a play. Have your child plan and organize a play for a holiday or family gathering. There are a number of reader’s theaters online you may use, or perhaps your child has his own idea he wants to write about — even better! If you encourage your child to memorize the script, he will boost his reading fluency by reading the same text over and over.
- Write messages to your child. This can be a fun way for your kiddos to practice reading and writing while helping to build her general communication skills. Some people have “mailboxes” in their home. Others have two-way notebooks between a parent and a child, taking turns to leave one another notes.
- Plan a scavenger hunt. Write a list of clues that lead your kids to items in or near your home. Next time, let your child write clues to the scavenger hunt.
These are just a few of many non-book ways to read. Working on projects like those listed here are good moments to teach your child that reading is all around us and that we use reading skills every day. What non-book ways do your children like to read?