family, parenting, preschooler, reading, toddler

20 Minutes of Reading or Whining? How to Make Reading Fun!

As a mom of 3 boys (who I have to admit are not avid readers) I struggle with this issue quite frequently and I know many other parents do as well. In honor of March reading month I have chosen this topic to write about with hopes of helping all of us get even the most disinterested child to engage in reading and maybe even ultimately begin to like it.  Because every child is different it is important to find methods that will work best for your family. Here are tips and suggestions to get even the most reluctant child to read, some “great picks” by real kids, and some tips that may make reading enjoyable for all.


  1. babywithglassesTake turns reading aloud with you and your child (even if they are a “Tween”) each participant reads a chapter or a page and alternate between each of you. Decide together before beginning the process that you will use and then talk about each chapter together to help aid with comprehension. Discuss what you like best, predict what could happen next or even talk about what you like and dislike about each character. The possibilities are endless.
  2. Offer an incentive program: On the days your child actually reads 20 minutes, they earn 20 minutes of extra time to stay up or earn the chance to play a game or have a special desert.
  3. Create your own library days: One night a week each child can write their own story and then they read it out loud to a family member. Stories do not have to be long. This is a really fun way to get the imagination going and also to see what family members have written about. You can also have a nightly assigned topic that the family picks or a “free choice option”.
  4. Read on the go: Play a word game in the car. Each person takes turns reading as many words from a street sign, store names, billboards or garage sale signs. You do not have to be reading a book to be reading! Recipe reading also counts and cooking can be very fun to do together.
  5. Explore beyond the book: If your child is into video games then seek out copies of the video game guides or tips-and-tricks books that are centered around your child’s favorite game. They may be intrigued as they read tips to better enhance their game performance and parent is happy because they are reading — a win-win combination.
  6. Find a book series: take child to the library and explore all the different kids of books including series for their age group.

Favorite Patient Picks:

Sam 5th grade- “Wonder”.

Jack 3rd Grade- American Chillersgirlwithbooks

Michael 7th grade- “The Million Dollar Arm” by Mike Lupica

Susie pre K- Runaway Bunny

Jacob 2nd grade- Magic tree House /Bad Kitty

Greyson 5yr old-Lego Batman

Angel 6th grade- Judy Bloom series/ Harry Potter

Shea (age 11m)- “I’m Dirty”

Luca preschool(age 3)- “Goodnight Moon”

Elanora (age 2)- Three Little Pigs & The Not So Bad Wolf.

Thomas 1st grade-(age 7) “Splatt the Cat”

Emmett (6 yr old)- Gut Instincts

Anthony 4th grade-(age 9) All the Captain Underpants books

Nola (Age 4)-Little mermaid

Dominic 5th grade (age 10)- Persey Jackson Series

John (age 18m)- Where’s Babies Belly Button?”

Grace (age 4)- The Bears in the Bed”

Landon (age 22 months) “Who’s Nose and Toes”

Favorites by Age

Newborn and Babies: Anything that has large picture and faces

Toddlers:  Anything with large pictures and faces and ABC and Number books

Preschoolers: Dr. Seuss, Bob Books (great to start to develop readers)

Kindergarden: Pete the Cat, Splatt the Cat, Dr. Seuss

1st Grade: Pete the Cat

2nd Grade-4th Grade depending on reading level:  Baby Mouse, Magic Tree House books, Judy Bloom, Stink.

3rd/4th: Captain Underpants, I Survived books, American Chillers, Big Nate, biographies, how does it work books.

5th grade-7th/8th (middle school years): Persey Jackson, Mike Lupica (sports stories), Harry Potter, non-fiction/biographies about athletes/heroes, Ripley Believe it Or Not.

OTHER Fun Options to Read:

National Geographic Kids

“Weird but True”

“Who Would Win”

booksGuiness Book World Records

Ripley’s Believe it or Not


Comic Books/ Comic section of the Sunday paper

Sports Illustrated Kids

Scholastic Web site-great resource for age appropriate books

E-Books (for those readers that enjoy the technology and tablets and ipads and phones; kids may be more apt to read if they can do it on their device)

Raz (web site)

ABC  (web site)

Star Fall (web site)

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