“The cool thing about reading is that when you read a short story or you read something that takes your mind and expands where your thoughts can go, that’s powerful,” -Taylor Swift. I didn’t grow up a lover of books. In fact, the only reading I really did through high school was simply books assigned to me for classes. It wasn’t until about 8 years ago that I started to read consistently. I started with books that supported me in my roles at work: leadership, communication, mindset. Then a few years after that someone really encouraged me to start reading fiction to challenge my creativity. And honestly? It was one of the best challenges that I have said yes to. I have seen so many benefits from reading in my adult life and even though I wasn’t a reader as a kid, I was determined to figure out ways to encourage my kids to read. Here are some things that we did to encourage our kids to love reading:
Consistent Library Trips
This is something we do consistently now that helps our kids stay excited about reading. Disclaimer: I find it really hard to say no to buying books. It is honestly the one thing that I have a ton of because I rarely keep multiples of anything. Going to the library consistently helps us keep our book options fresh and new and also helps us cut down on the book buying budget a bit. Our kids were pumped to get their own library cards and use those to check out their picks each trip.
Book Subscription Boxes
This is a service that is a bit newer on the scene, at least to me. We have tried a few different boxes over the last few years and each has their pros and cons. The one we are using now is Literati. I love it because you get to customize the boxes depending on ages and also on interests. You can edit those over time too as their interests change! The coolest part about Literati is that you get to send the books back. It is sort of like a library experience by mail. You get the box, have a week to read things and check them out, then you can choose to keep or return. Whatever you keep you pay for, obviously, and anything you return you aren’t charged for. Similar to a clothing subscription box you may be familiar with! This is something our kids look forward to each month. We do one box for our little kids and one box for our older kids and it works great for us in this season.
Rewards for Reading
Similar to household chores that we pay our older kids for, we have done seasons where we would pay our kids to read. (Stick with me for a minute before you dismiss this lol) We went through the copies of books that we felt like were kid appropriate and also gave great life lessons and learning material. We chose books with topics on things like mindset, money, leadership, kindness. The books were assigned a dollar amount depending on length and content. Our kids got the money by reading a book a writing a short book report showing us that they truly read it. It was really cool to see them get excited about the challenge and completing the reports. And as a parent it was encouraging to see them learning some amazing lessons. It was 100% a good investment for our family. We chose to do monetary rewards but you could choose anything that felt fun!
I hope these tips help you as you encourage your kids to love reading! It isn’t always easy, and definitely goes in seasons, but the benefits are so worth it. Happy reading!