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March 24, 2021

From The Very Hungry Caterpillar To Hamlet — Four Ways To Encourage Your Rockstar Reader!

In our tech-driven modern world, traditional paperbacks can’t seem to catch a break. As super-fast smartphones become increasingly common, more people aren’t as inclined to savor the slower-paced pleasure of reading a paperback. In fact, a recent study from the U.S. Department of Education suggests one in five Americans are now functionally illiterate.

In our tech-driven modern world, traditional paperbacks can’t seem to catch a break. As super-fast smartphones become increasingly common, more people aren’t as inclined to savor the slower-paced pleasure of reading a paperback. In fact, a recent study from the U.S. Department of Education suggests one in five Americans are now functionally illiterate.  

New studies also reveal that too much screen time could weaken a momma’s bond with her little one. When it comes to bonding with kiddos, there’s nothing better than reading a book together.

Since March is National Reading Month, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to share a few of my favorite reading tips for kids. By putting a few of these strategies into place, you can boost the odds of turning book haters into bookworms!

Four Easy Ways To Build Your Child’s Reading Skills

Set Up a Dedicated Reading Den (No TV Allowed!)

One of the easiest ways to encourage your kiddo’s curiosity is to create a serene space just for reading. While you could set up a cute little library if you have a spare room, DIY igloos or forts are also pretty neat. The key is for this reading den to have zero distractions — especially TV!

I know, watching your favorite TV show can be super relaxing, but you can have “too much of a good thing!” It’s best to schedule your TV sessions in a separate room so you can monitor your little one’s screen time.

If you set up a dedicated place and time just for reading, it’s way easier to encourage a literary habit. For extra fun, you could even decorate your kiddo’s reading room to match the book they are currently reading. You might also want to check out my Harry Potter-related tips if your little one is about to take a ride on the Hogwarts Express!

All of these simple additions will add so much excitement to your little one’s reading adventures.

Don’t Diss Comic Books! — Read Whatever Your Kiddo Wants (Within Reason!)

Please don’t feel bad if your little one gravitates towards non-standard books. In the early stages, your little one may not be interested in books at all. Instead, they may want to read highly-illustrated comics. Whatever you do, don’t ban any of these comics from your child’s library unless they’re not age-appropriate.

Always encourage your kiddo’s reading habits, even if you’re not crazy about the books they’re interested in. You want your kiddo to form a positive association with reading. As long as the comic stories are age-appropriate, your little one will still learn invaluable literacy skills.

Plus, as your kiddos grow, their tastes will change...and that’s when you can sneakily introduce your favorite novels!

Surprise! — Consider a Monthly Book Subscription Plan

If your little one is having trouble choosing a novel to read, you may want to consider looking into a book subscription program. Nowadays, you can get a surprise stash of age-appropriate books delivered to your doorstep every month. Opening these presents is an unforgettable event that can help kick-start your little one’s reading habit.

There are dozens of subscriptions to choose from, but here are a few of the best-reviewed plans:

Our Little Book Club

Bookroo

Owl Post Books

Momo’s Book Club

Forget Wikipedia — Dust Off Your Print Dictionary!

Vocabulary can be a significant stumbling block for readers...and I’m not just talking about kiddos! How many times have you seen words in an article or novel that you couldn’t make heads or tails of? No matter how skilled a reader you think you are, it’s always a good idea to keep a trusty dictionary nearby.

Be sure to teach your kiddo how to use an old-fashioned dictionary whenever they stumble through a sentence. This simple trick is one of the easiest ways to boost your little one’s reading comprehension and confidence.

While dictionary apps may be more efficient, most teachers stick by print dictionaries. Ironically, many educators prefer print dictionaries because it takes longer to find your target word! You see, as your kiddo leafs through a paper dictionary, they’ll run across loads of new and exciting words they can add to their little lexicon. Plus, dictionary breaks may help improve overall comprehension.

FYI: You can easily find kid-friendly dictionaries on Amazon, like these by Merriam-Webster and Scholastic.

I Know You’re Wondering: Is Listening To Audiobooks Cheating?

Today, you don’t need an Audible subscription to listen to thousands of audiobooks. In fact, the website LibriVox.org now has over 15,000 free audiobooks to peruse. However, many people wonder if audiobooks have the same effect as reading a good old paperback.

Well, a new study out of UC San Diego found no big difference between reading on a Kindle and listening to an audiobook. Interestingly, the students involved in this study scored almost identically on comprehension quizzes.

Audiobooks are a phenomenal way to get reluctant readers excited about their books. Not only do these audiobooks add pizzazz to your reading adventures, they can help your little one pick up complex topics like tone of voice.


Need more tips on how to help your child become a successful reader? If so, you’ve got to check out this previous post dedicated to the topic. And be sure to share your reading tips with me on Instagram @windycitynanny!


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