Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Something Else to Do When They Won't Read a Book

Now I know. I am a mom. I am realistic.

There are times where you just CAN'T get them to pick up a book. Or they just sit there and pretend read. I have seen it in my classroom, and yes, from time to time (but rarely, thank God) in my home.

So instead, let's think about other things you can do that help promote a reading life, yet may not really be "a book."

Play a game...one with instructions, or cards you have to read to get to the next turn.
Look at magazines.
Read Toys R Us descriptions of toys on the internet or flyer...make them read the fine print!
Put on the closed caption on the tv and mute it (they freak the first time)
Put them on a scavenger hunt...write down clues and have them have to go get certain items.
Play hangman
Draw comics and create speech bubbles.
Have them cook with you and read the recipie

In a nutshell, think about anything with print. Use it! Point out to them that they needed to know how to read in order to do whatever they did too.

For Nick, today I am taking a bunch of different letters and printing them in different fonts. We are going to play a matching game. I am going to start with only 2 letters and we will sort them into piles. As he recognizes the different looks to the letters, I will add in more letters. We can do that with shapes, colors and numbers too.

For little ones, they need to first recognize that those scribbly lines have meaning, and each "squiggle" is different. That's where we are.

So today, if your child won't pick up a book, find something in print for them to work with.


  1. I love books. I tend to read "how-to" (all kinds), philosophy, theology, science, and reference books. I'm less drawn to fiction, which tends to be the genre that we focus on with kids.

    So, I think you make a good point here. There are many varieties of print media and content. Any can be used to strengthen reading skills, even if they are outside the typical kid fare.

    I know I'm not the only one who loved reading encyclopedias, dictionaries, cookbooks, and cereal boxes as a kid.

  2. Another thought.

    One of my teenagers has a "severe reading disorder". When he got a cellphone I was sure that we didn't have to worry about him going over our allotment of texts. Wrong! He started reading more because he was highly motivated. Granted, good spelling and grammar are not the hallmarks of texting, but the fact that he is now interacting with print more than ever is very exciting to me.

    Sometimes you take what you can get.