Healthy Kids YMCA Child Care

3 clever ideas to get your child to fall in love with reading

A child seated on the floor reading a book.

Do you remember your favourite book from childhood? I sure do. It was (and still is) The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka. Every time I cracked open this collection of fractured fairy tales, I would get lost in the humour-filled storylines and silly images. In short, it was the book that made me fall in love with reading.

As adults, we strive to pass children’s stories that leave a lasting impression on our hearts and minds onto the next generation, in hopes that they’ll find them just as enthralling as we did. But what if your kiddo doesn’t seem all that excited about your favourite book from way back when — or any text for that matter?

Here are a few creative approaches to helping a child go from reluctant reader to bookworm. Best of all, they’re fantastic ways to get the whole family together to create some memorable moments.

Record an audiobook

Audiobooks are great for bringing a text to life and boosting kids’ reading skills. To create your own, all you need is a good book that piques your child’s interest and an audio recorder (such as a simple voice memo app on a smartphone). Next, get the family involved by having everyone voice a character in the story. Remember to encourage your little one to practice expressive reading by experimenting with things like emotion, speed, and pitch.

Host a scavenger hunt

Shy readers are sometimes struggling readers. If you’ve noticed that your child is having trouble learning to read, try putting down the flashcards and hosting an exciting word scavenger hunt. This simple, hands-on game will help kids work on decoding and recognizing sight words, which are crucial skills for youngsters to develop. 

Build a reader with building blocks

There’s no denying that kids can’t get enough of stackable building blocks, so why not use them to build their appreciation for reading? You can easily transform this classic children’s toy into a powerful educational tool by labelling a set of blocks with a variety of words, letters, and sounds. Kids will experience the thrill of reading as they use building blocks to construct sentences, practice spelling tricky words, learn about vowels and consonants, and develop phonemic awareness.

If your child dislikes reading, it’s important to get to the bottom of the issue; it may be an indication of a broader learning need. Talk with their teachers about what they’re seeing in the classroom and consult medical experts to learn how best to support your youngster.