With the holiday break from school looming in the too-near distance, if you’re a parent, you might be panicking right about now. You are looking forward to this break, sure: getting to spend time with your kids, make some holiday memories. But 24/7 for a week or more is a lot of time spent trying to entertain young ones. And let’s be real, TV or video games (even if the kids beg for it) are just never things we readers will willingly stoop to employing.
We want our kids to strengthen their reading capabilities, their imaginations, and their love for literature over this break. But not all kids are natural readers like us *dusts off shoulders affluently.*
Here are some ways to trick you kids into reading over this break. They might just come away from it as new people: as readers themselves.
1. Wages For Words
Tape some money at the back of the book, making sure the kid knows they actually have to read the book first to retrieve the cash. To ensure that the kids have read the book and not just practiced their white-lying to you, place post-it notes at the end of each chapter with two or three reading comprehension questions that the kids have to answer. Once they turn in all the post-its to you, they have now literally earned their reward.
Here is a less kind option to trick your kids into reading. If you’re traveling to see family or to simply go on a holiday trip together, your kids are now trapped in the car, at your mercy. Take away their electronics, play some instrumental holiday music, and then give the kids the only entertainment that they will have for the whole trip: books. If they finish the book and there’s time to spare, play some I-Spy or 21-Questions. Or alternately, have a little holiday spirit at that point and give them back their iPads or phones or whatever it is the kids are playing with these days.
3. Harry Potter
What kid doesn’t love watching Harry Potter movies? And what human of any age doesn’t like watching Harry Potter movies at Christmas? Promise your kids that the whole family will have a Harry Potter movie night (complete with butterbeer and some treats, if you’re the crafty kind), if and only if, they read one of the Harry Potter books first. If they’ve read all the Harry Potter books, but the movie is still a temptation, make them read The Hobbit. Easy.
4. Book Role Call
If you really want to go to town and get these kids seriously reading, draw up a sheet with 5-10 blank lines. Each time the kid reads a book, they fill in the title and author. Once the sheet is full–and only at that point–does the kid get a gift, something they really want (but something extra, something besides what you were going to give them anyway; come on, don’t make them actually work for their presents… we’re not monsters, here).
5. Treasure Hunt
Go through one of their books and circle just one word here and one word there, like “under” “the” “stairs.” Once the kid has read the book and put together all the circled words, they will know where to look in the house for a holiday surprise.
Yeah, so most of the measures include bribery, but is it bribery if EVERYONE is having fun? You, your kids; this is an adventure for the whole family! Enjoy the process, make reading fun for your children, and get everyone cozy and literary this holiday break.
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Featured image via Pixabay