Reluctant Reader? Here Are 7 Ways to Have Fun With Reading!
Has your child almost completely lost interest in reading?
We get it. School reading assignments are a surefire way to kill a love of books. Just imagine — you’re not choosing the topic, you have deadlines for finishing certain chapters, and then you have to take a quiz or write an essay to prove you understand the text you never wanted to read in the first place.
Is that how you read as an adult? No — of course not. You choose a book because it looks interesting. If it’s not, you don’t have to finish it. And no one is forcing you to analyze the story as you go. You’re reading for pleasure — and that’s the way it should be.
If your child is always saying no to books or telling you they hate reading, don’t worry! You can help them rediscover their love of stories. With a little creativity and outside-the-box thinking, you can even make reading fun again!
7 Ways to Encourage More Reading
Your child can practice their reading skills and improve their reading comprehension while having fun! Here are our favorite ways to encourage more reading.
Play video games
Many games give your child the opportunity to practice their reading skills. Here are several ways your child’s video games incorporate reading practice.
- In-game quests and tutorials
If they’re picking up a new game, tutorials often have written instructions (along with images) to help them learn how to play. In addition, many games like Vesteria (a popular Roblox game) have in-game quests players must complete to level up. Gamers need to read these and understand their mission to progress in the game.
- An amazing story
Some of the best games have compelling storylines with dialogue boxes to read as you progress. Even Roblox games like Rainbow Friends (a kid-friendly horror game) or Doodle World (a Pokemon-inspired fantasy game) use text boxes over audible dialogue to tell the story while keeping kids engaged.
- Lots of repetition
You might notice your child playing the same games over and over again. It may seem boring to you, but that’s a great way for them to practice their skills. They’re making reading connections and gaining confidence every time the words they know flash across the screen.
If you have a younger child, it’s helpful to sit beside them and help them decipher the words. And as they get more comfortable, they’ll still likely check in with questions. But soon, they’ll be tackling these games (and words) all by themselves.
Yes, this involves a lot of memorization. And it’s important to incorporate phonics practice as well. But this repetition can lead to a huge confidence boost. And that means they’ll soon choose to tackle brand-new reading challenges.
- Real-time chat
Want to really boost their motivation? Look for games with chat features, like Roblox. Real-time chatting with their friends can keep reading interesting. Bonus — they’ll also be working on their spelling and writing when they respond to other players. And even though it’s not foolproof, Roblox does have chat filtering to protect your child’s private information (and keep the chat language clean).
2. Let them choose their own books
If your child is only reading books assigned to them, then reading is going to always feel like a chore. Help turn reading into an enjoyable pastime by giving them a chance to choose their own reading material.
Try visiting a bookstore or library and ask them to choose something that sounds interesting or fun. Whether it’s a book about building with Legos, a Minecraft gaming guide, or a cookbook — let them follow their interests and re-spark a love of learning and reading. Even a book with mostly pictures can help boost their confidence and keep reading fun.
3. Check out the local comic book shop
As kids move into chapter books, pictures begin to disappear. But for struggling readers, pictures (and the context clues they provide) can help them work through longer and more complex texts. Comic books are a great option for mixing pictures with more mature and interesting stories than your standard picture book.
There are also visual and text cues (such as character sighs, gasps, or door slams) to help your child identify emotions and read between the lines. Comic books are an entertaining way to keep your child reading while building their confidence.
4. Listen to stories
Although listening to stories won’t directly help them with their reading skills, it can help them develop a love of stories. It’s also a great way to improve their comprehension. Whether it’s you reading a story, or they’re listening to audiobooks, your child can develop important literacy skills. Here are some of our favorite, child-friendly ways to listen to stories:
- PBS Kids
- Story Seeds
Put audio stories on at home using smart devices or tablets (Alexa is great for this), or stream books in the car during your daily commute. Listening to stories can spark their imagination and curiosity while driving their interest in reading.
5. Turn On Closed Captioning
Every time your child is watching a screen, turn on the captions. You don’t need hours of flashcard practice to help your child recognize reading patterns. By surrounding your child with words, they’ll naturally start to make their own connections.
Even shows with very little dialogue, like Oscar’s Oasis or Grizzy and the Lemmings, can help your child discover phonics. Every silly sound is captioned, giving your child a chance to understand these onomatopoeic words. Before you know it, they’ll try reading signs and billboards everywhere you go.
6. Play reading and phonics games
Many board games can help your child practice their reading. Some are played alone, and others are great for family game nights. And all of them will give them a reading confidence boost!
And don’t forget about the educational apps that provide help to early readers. These apps use gamified learning to encourage practice while your kiddo has fun.
Looking for a way to keep reading fun? Here are some great reading games for kids:
- Phonics Board Games
- Tall Tales: The Game of Infinite Storytelling
- Homer Early Learning app
- Originator apps
- ABC Mouse
- Prodigy English
- Teach Your Monster To Read
This list is not at all exhaustive. There are many, many more apps and games available to help with reading. Try a few to see which best holds your child’s attention, and mix it up as needed to keep them interested and engaged.
7. Keep Reading Together
Your child is never too old for a good read-aloud story. Let your child choose the book, then sit and read together. But don’t spend too much time prompting them to take over. When you take the lead, you remove the pressure. And they may surprise you by offering to read a bit themselves.
As you read together, talk about what’s happening in a casual way. Just be careful not to make it feel like a quiz. By revisiting the best moments, you can help them refine their reading comprehension.
If they don’t want to sit and listen, that’s ok. Even if it’s just you cozied up with your favorite book, you’re creating an environment where reading is a pleasurable activity.
Reading Is the Gateway to Learning
Learning to read opens up the world. Once your child learns to read, they can learn anything.
And it’s about so much more than phonics and vocabulary. Reading helps your child develop their imagination, confidence, and social-emotional skills. Reading involves making predictions, understanding sight words, using context clues, asking questions, and even applying previous knowledge to make connections to the text. With these skills, your child can make better sense of the people and the world around them.
Our goal as parents is to help them find the joy in reading. Not doing it just because they have to, but because they want to.
Keep Your Young Reader Motivated With Low-Stress Reading Opportunities
Reading is all around. And because it’s a part of everyday life, there’s no need to push this skill onto your child. If you suspect learning challenges, definitely explore your options. But don’t drive yourself crazy with worry — your child will learn to read.
The best thing you can do is keep it from being a chore or something they hate. Keep an eye out for reading opportunities that help encourage reading — even if they don’t look like traditional teaching methods.
Though it may sound crazy, many kids have learned to read with Roblox. And with Kinjo, you can feel good about giving your child the game time they’re asking for.
Because Kinjo encourages your kiddo to play quality games — fun experiences that help them grow their reading, math, and social skills. With Kinjo, you can give them the low-stress learning time they need without you feeling more stress over screen time. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Visit the app store today and download the new Kinjo gamer’s app — Kinjo – Play Smart and Earn — to level up your child’s learning today!