Home » Uncategorized » 11 Ways to Get Kids To Choose Books Over Screens

11 Ways to Get Kids To Choose Books Over Screens

As a reading teacher, a Simplicity parenting coach and a mom of two boys with ADHD, raising kids who love to read has always been a priority for me.

As my kids get older, there is more of a pull away from books and onto screens – and I find myself revisiting these ideas.

If you need help steering your kids back to books, we’ve got some good ones.

11 Ways to Get Kids to Choose Books Over Screens

Carve out regular reading time.

Schools often have daily silent reading time so why not start something similar at home?  Developing the habit of reading with your kids, especially if you have reluctant readers, will serve as a reminder to you and them.

Be silly and have fun with this. You can nudge your kids a bit by plopping yourself down on the sofa and opening up a book. Younger kids will love if you just  start reading aloud from a fantastic new book. Older kids may want to stay in their PJS and read all morning on Sundays. Get creative and do what works for your family.

Depending on your kids, you may have to model this for awhile before they will join in. Remember, habits usually take 30 days to form, so keep at it. Our reading time  is right after dinner(or after our after dinner walk).  We have about an hour or so to laze on the sofa or in bedrooms and just read.  We have been doing this for so long, it just happens. I love the time to sit and read with my kids or catch up on whatever book I am into at the moment.

Don’t be too choosy about what kids read.

I have to admit that I am not a fan of everything that’s out there for kids to read.  But, barring anything completely  inappropriate, I let my kids read what they want.

This means there have been lots of ” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Minecraft books in my kids hands over the years. But I am okay with that.  As long as they are reading  and see reading as a fun, enjoyable activity,  I’m not too particular about how it happened.

Luckily as they have grown, so has their taste in books(mostly) and  I make sure to sneak in some great read alouds and audio stories to expand their palate.

Be a good role model

Modeling a behavior is very powerful!!  Kids will do what you DO, not do what you say. You can offer all the best reading opportunities possible, but if kids don’t see you reading, they’ll think, ” Why bother!” Kids who see their parents reading understand that reading is FUN and something many people CHOOSE to do.

Set the stage: make it comfy!

Make sure there a few inviting spaces around your house that just beckon your kids to sit with a book.  Set the stage by making sure you have a comfy chair or two, floor pillows, and good task lights. Place baskets of books close by or strew some good books on a nearby table.

If you build it and they will come!

Beds are naturally comfy and a perfect place to chill and read.  Make sure your kids have a bedside lamp or a small book light to make nighttime reading easy.

Be choosy with screen time

Raising readers in this digital age is tough. If given a choice, most kids will choose screen time over any other activity.  Be extra choosy about what your kids do on a screen so there is plenty of time left for books!  

In today’s world where screens are such a part of our environment, its hard to give a strict limit of say, 2 hours of screen time a day. Be sensitive to your child’s needs and if their screen use trumps other activities like reading or spending time with family and friends, cut back.

Be choosy with extracurricular activities

Be just as choosy with extracurricular activities as you are with screen time.

It is no secret that kids are often overbooked and over scheduled, leaving them with little downtime to recharge.  Kids should have plenty of time to just hang out and get bored and then reach for a book

Offer a Variety of Reading Material

Offering a variety of reading material can keep things fresh–especially for reluctant readers. There are lots of options out there beyond the chapter book. Try your hand at vintage comic books, word puzzle books, magazines, reference books, cook books, picture books, and graphic novels.

Take a field trip to a magazine store, a used book store or library in another town to spark your kiddo’s interest.

Check out: Cricket magazineand our favorite non-fiction books HERE.

 Keep an ongoing  list of books to read. 

 My dream is to have a big wipe board in a prominent place where everyone in the family writes down the books that they want to read…what a great way to get your family talking about books and authors. I  do keep an ever growing list on Amazon by adding books to my cart as I hear about them.

I regularly consult several sources-Honey For a Child’s Heart, The Read-Aloud Revival, my pinterest board, and our local library.  I never force books on my kids–but I may choose them for a read aloud or just casually place them in one of our many book baskets.

Visit different libraries.

 Its always fun to take a little trip to a nearby town and visit their library.

Find out which ones are in your local library’s network and you can even check out books.  Butv, even if you can’t checkout books, it’s always fun to take a look around. Hang out in their kids section–maybe they have an extra cozy area to read or a big fish tank to look at.

 These visits are perfect for a rainy day or when you need a little new inspiration.

DO NOT incentivize  reading

I am NOT, nor ever have I been an advocate of bribery of any sort when it comes to reading. Giving prizes sends the message that reading is not that fun and you need to be bribed to pick up a book.  

I want my kids to read because they enjoy reading, not because they are hoping to get a prize. Alfie Kohn cites numerous studies that reveal that kids are turned off and  do less of the activity when they are being rewarded.  

After all, reading, itself, is the reward.

Get Hooked On An Author!

When I was teaching in Chicago, my students did not have the luxury of having lots of books at home. At age 7, most of my students had not been bit by the reading bug, so I had my work cut out for me. I still remember when Tim Shanahan came to my school to give a talk on the benefits of getting kids hooked on an author.

I chose Look for authors with multiple books so kids can work their way thru them all.  Series are all the rage right now, so it should be easy to find one that appeals to your reader.

Your kids will love these series:

And More Authors to Fall in Love With:

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more great book suggestions and ideas for getting kids to become voracious readers.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.