Six Ways to Keep Your Kid Reading on the Weekends


Kids are busier than ever these days. Some of them have schedules that involve after-school activities, and many of them have weekend extracurriculars. With all of this time spent doing other things—is there still time for kids to read on the weekends?

 

The answer is always yes. And if it feels like there isn’t time, you can always make time.

 

But your child could have all the time in the world, and that wouldn’t matter if they aren’t motivated to continue their weekly reading routine on the weekends. Even though Saturday and Sunday are meant for taking a break from school, that doesn’t mean that the books should get put away.

 

If you have a child who loves to read and pulls out books of their own volition, that’s amazing. But if your child is someone whom you have to cajole, nag, or sometimes even bribe into reading, then this article is for you.

 

Here are six ways to keep your kid reading on the weekends.

 

1. Be the model.

You are your child’s first teacher, and their instinct is to model anything that you do. If you show them that reading is fun, then they’re going to pick up that message faster than they would through any other method.

 

Your child will sense your own interest, and this is a great step in creating a lifelong reader who has positive connections to books. Remember that enthusiasm is contagious, so if you’re having a good time while reading, then the chances are that your child will too.

 

2. Find time for social reading.

Humans are social creatures, and children love spending time with one another. Scheduling time with your child’s friends for them to read together can be a huge motivator for kids who aren’t all that excited about reading. When they can view it as a fun, collaborative activity, it might seem less boring and obligatory. After all, spending time with friends is never a bad thing.

 

Some time is better than no time at all, even if the kids just spend fifteen to thirty minutes reading and the rest of the time playing.

 

You can use this tip to help your teens read on the weekends too. By starting a book club with your teen and their friends and allowing them to pick the book, you turn reading into a tool that can bring them together.

 

3. Widen your scope beyond books.

Books are, of course, the first thing many people think of when they think of reading. But there are plenty of other things to read as well. By playing board games with your children on the weekends (games like Scrabble, Pictionary, Monopoly, or Life), you’re encouraging them to read with another goal in mind: winning the game!

 

Family game night is a great way for a child to read without even knowing they’re doing it.

 

4. Don’t forget audiobooks.

If you’ve got an especially reluctant reader, don’t be afraid to utilize audiobooks. By pairing an audiobook with a physical book, it makes it easier for a child to follow along—especially if they struggle with reading. This is a great activity for them to do during quiet time or while they spend time unwinding in their room.

 

Pairing audiobooks with physical books allows children to both see and hear the words, which creates and strengthens the link between the two concepts in their brains—and this will eventually make them more proficient readers.

 

5. Integrate reading everywhere.

As we stated earlier, reading goes far beyond the printed book. Reading is incorporated throughout our daily lives, everywhere we look, and you can encourage your children to recognize this fact.

 

If you’re making dinner, have your child read you the recipe, find the ingredients, and take a few bites of what’s being made. If you’re watching a movie, turn on the closed captioning. If the two of you are working on a LEGO set, give your child the job of reading aloud the directions on how to build it.

 

In these instances, you’re around to help, and when they see tangible results created from the words that they’re reading, that satisfaction will build self-esteem.

 

6. Plan a movie night.

As a family, pick a book that has been made into a movie and make a goal of finishing it. After everyone has finished it and it’s been thoroughly discussed, you can plan a movie night complete with on-theme snacks! Once the movie is over, you can open the floor for a reflection on what was different from the book and what was the same.

 

Your Young Reader

Time spent reading is never wasted—it’s invested in your child’s future. Even on the weekends, this is essential to prioritize.

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