Hooked on Books

If reading has taken a back seat this summer, offer up fun ways for your kids to hit the books — which will help boost reading skills as they head back to school this Fall. Try the following tips to get your kids hooked on books!

Go to a Bookstore
Have your kids select books at their level, that appeal to them. Encourage them to read books that relate to special interests such as sports, hobbies, animals, etc. Don’t push beyond your child’s literary capabilities – the goal is understanding and enjoyment.

Take advantage of Library Resources
While libraries may be offering limited services, due to COVID-19, there are plenty of online resources and digital services your family can take advantage of! Many offer audio books and online books via Overdrive. Check your local library's website for details.

Read Together
Even if your child is able to read, make reading a special time and have fun together. Your kids will look forward to this. Get expressive and get into character as you read stories — act out a scene. Regardless of their age, keep making this a ritual.

Read together and ask questions about the story to ensure your child understands what she or he is reading.

Revisiting Books
Don’t hesitate to have your child go back to an old favourite! A second read may bring out things missed the first time around and will encourage your child to appreciate the book beyond the plot.

Audio Books
If kids are really having a tough time getting into reading, audio books might be the solution. It’s really not cheating! You can find a good selection at the library, even via online services. These are great for the last of your summer road-trips. Audible, the largest seller and producer of spoken audio entertainment, information, and educational programming on the Internet is currently offering free audio books for kids for as long as schools are closed. Kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across eight different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids. Stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.

Online Storytime
Since the pandemic hit, many celebrities and authors have started reading books to kids for virtual storytimes. These will keep young minds entertained and sharp, and help develop a passion for books. Even former First Lady Michelle Obama is reading some of the most beloved picture books in children's lit. Just head to YouTube or the internet and search for virtual storytime.

Use Fun Activities to Support Reading
If you've just read a great book on dinosaurs — because your child is a fan, create some fun activities to further explore the book and subject matter. This could be making a dinosaur craft, making dinosaur cookies, drawing pictures, or watching a movie inspired by your book. Continue to discuss the book's content as you create! This makes for a fun tradition, and kids will look forward to the next reading time.

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