MY KID HATES TO READ! These 7 tips to motivate reluctant readers will make reading FUN instead of a dreaded chore!
Thank you to Little Hippo AR for sponsoring this post. Little Hippo AR Books are currently available at participating Walmart stores.
A few weeks ago, I asked you guys for input over on Instagram. I asked……what are your Teacher FAQs? What would you like me to answer from an educator's standpoint? And the question I got THE MOST? My child hates reading…..what do I do? So I put together my favorite tips and tricks for motivating a reluctant reader (don't worry, these are easy to implement and fun)!
7 Tricks to Motivate Reluctant Readers
Why are kids often reluctant to read at home or independently? For the most part, they're either reading books that are inappropriate for their reading level (too easy or too difficult) or the books aren't of interest to them. These? Easily solvable problems.
Use Technology: Our kids live in a technology-filled world. My biggest tip? Use technology to your advantage, instead of working against it. When I first heard about Little Hippo AR, I was a little apprehensive. Augmented Reality with books? What was this, a VIDEO GAME to replace reading?!? But once I got the books and downloaded the free Hippo Magic app, I realized I was wrong. I've been recommending these amazing books to everyone from my mom friends to the teachers at my school. Little Hippo AR books are an amazing way to encourage children to interact with classic literature. Their books can be even be read without their amazing app. The thing that I love? The augmented reality in Little Hippo's versions of The Velveteen Rabbit, Little Red Riding Hood, Three Little Pigs, and Goldilocks and the Three Bears adds to the reading experience. The characters pop off the pages, play games……and then remind the reader to head BACK to the pages to read more of the story. Instead of taking away from the text, they add to the textual experience. These classic fairytales for a new generation are fun, inspiring, and as a reading specialist……I can confidently say that they will engage even the most reluctant readers.
Self Selection: We are always more interested in things we pick OURSELVES. Provide a variety of books in your home library, and let your child select books they are interested in reading (I love that Little Hippo has four totally different books to appeal to a variety of interests)! Visit the library on a regular basis, trade books with friends, visit your neighborhood Little Library, or take trips to the local bookstore. At each location, let your child drive the selection. They will pick books that they actually WANT to read. We actually took a family trip to Walmart so that Lydia could pick out her favorite Little Hippo AR book, and somehow she convinced me to buy four of them (ha)!
Books at an Appropriate Level: One of the biggest roadblocks to enjoying reading? Books that are too easy (lead to boredom) and books that are too difficult (lead to discouragement). Ask your child's teacher if they have assessed their Lexile level (this scoring system will give you a number that levels the types of books your child can read independently). THIS WEBSITE is a great place to start, and will give you a TON of great children's books at each level (for early readers, Little Hippo books are great for teaching songs, shapes and colors).
Family Book Club: Now I get that you may not be SUPER excited about reading random children's books…….but modeling an interest in reading is key. My suggestion? Select books around the same TOPIC. Does your child love skateboarding? Maybe they read a children's book about skateboarding and you read an autobiography. Set aside time each day or week to discuss your books and what you've learned. Want a fun spin on Family Book Club? Use the Little Hippo App for non-solo screen time!
External Motivation: There is NOTHING wrong with providing a little extra motivation to get your child reading. Create a simple chart, and give them a sticker for every 15 minutes they read without complaints. Let them earn something they're SUPER interested in after a week of reading each day. Tip: Use apps like the Little Hippo Magic app as motivation…….read the book for 15 minutes, then you get to play with the AR!
Book First, Then Movie: They really want to see that movie right? Plan a family movie night to see their favorite book based film, but only AFTER they've read the story (A Wrinkle in Time is a great place to start for older kids).
Variety: Variety is the spice of life. It also combats burnout and boredom. Provide a variety of books: Chapter books and picture books. Comic books and classic children's literature. Make sure you have a ton of options on hand. From The Velveteen Rabbit to an adorable version of the Three Little Pigs, Little Hippo AR books have a great variety……there's something for everyone!
Little Hippo AR Books are available at participating Walmart Stores now!
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