Keeping your kids motivated to read is super challenging. But there are tons of great (and often FREE) ways to grow a love of reading.
Keep Your Kids Motivated to Read with Easy Ideas for Every Parent
Check out these great ways to get your kids reading, and having fun!
Stay Motivated to Read with Technology
PBS Kids is one of my hands-down favorite resources year round, simply because of the depth and breadth of their materials. Reading is no different. They have games for the early primary through early elementary grades, focusing strongly on phonics and letter recognition.
Word Turtle is fun for all ages! This FunBrain Game helps students to create their own word searches. This is a great way to review sight words, vocabulary in any subject, or troublesome word study words.
BrainPOP has a whole section devoted to English, reading, and writing. I really like the Famous Authors and Books. This would be great for elementary through high school students who are looking for a review of grammar, information about authors, or writing tips.
For students who want a challenge, learning American Sign Language is a great way to work a different area of their brain with language. This is great for middle elementary to high school students.
Stay Motivated to Read with Board Games
Alphabet Island is a matching game for upper and lower case letters, and for beginning word sounds. This game is targeted at kids ages 4+, but would also be great for older students learning English as a second language or as a resource for a speech-language pathologist or special education teacher.
If you are looking to practice adjectives and nouns, Apples to Apples, Jr. is the game for you. Play as a family!
My hands-down favorite language game is Bananagrams. There are unending ways to play this game, from crossword/Scrabble-style to spelling contests and more. This is a great game to use from early primary to high school. For the littles, you can use the tiles to teach letter recognition and creating CVC words. For older kids, the options are limitless.
DIY Reading Games for Parents
Pinterest is your best friend for everything DIY. There are so many possibilities for DIY or easy to create reading games.
One of the best is magnetic letters and magnetic words. Put a selection of words/letters onto a metal baking sheet. Using just what they are given, students should make and record as many words, sentences, and stories as possible in a given amount of time.
Have leftover plastic Easter eggs and about 15 minutes? You can create a word family game! On one half of each egg write different consonant letters. On the other half, write one word ending. For example: write -OP, then you can add in ST-, M, B-, P-, and so on to make the -OP family of words. Twist the eggs around to build different words!
For more DIY early reader reading games, check out the Measured Mom’s list!
Play charades together. You could ask your child to act out characters from a book or play the traditional way. Either option is super fun!
Play Guess Who? to work on context clues. You could play the classic game. Or mix it up by using characters from a book. Guess the character by asking leading questions, like “Does she have red hair?” or “Is she an orphan?” If you guessed Anne of Green Gables, you’d be right!
Looking for more great reading advice? Check out Mom Loves Best!
Stay Motivated to Read with Fun Activities
Sometimes, you and the kids are all gamed out. When that happens, turn to individual projects. All of these ideas can be used across all grades, with more adult guidance for the smallest readers.
One of my favorites is Map It! Using what they know from a story, create an actual map of places in the story. For Harry Potter, it could be as small as the Gryffindor common room or as large as the whole Hogwarts castle. Anne of Green Gables fans might create a map of Avonlea. A Series of Unfortunate Events has enough map making fodder in each of the thirteen books to create a whole book of just maps!
Another fun one is to illustrate a scene or design your own cover. Often, the covers of our beloved books are a little out of date, or the best scene in the novel doesn’t have a picture. For this, you are limited only by their imaginations!
How do you keep your child motivated to read? Share your favorite ideas!