How to get the Kids Reading


As the hot summer months roll around, and school lets out, kids lose the structure they’re used to during the academic year, and in today’s world, that usually means they’re on their phones and devices much more than normal. 


This excessive screen time might seem unavoidable, but there is an antidote that both limits time spent on phones and lets your child learn about the world while developing important skills such as vocabulary. 




This was my favorite pastime as a child and still is a large part of my life today. But if you’re wondering how in the world you can get your child to divert their interest from the screen to the page, here are a few tips to get kids into the summer reading spirit. 


Bookstore Day


In a world that is becoming increasingly digital, there is nothing like the comfort and peace of a physical bookstore. Barnes and Noble was my favorite place to shop as a child and even now I could wander the shelves for hours. 


The children’s section remains a place full of wonder and fun and can become so for your kids. Make a day out of it; get a fun treat and head to Barnes and Noble to browse and find a book your child will get lost in. Blue Willow Bookshop is also a great option if you’re looking to shop at a local indie bookstore.


Sit at the tables and read a few pages of different books to find which one your child is interested in. Ask booksellers for the most popular picks for your child’s age group. Blue Willow offers weekly storytimes, author events and book club outings. Check their calendar for upcoming events.


Making the bookstore an exciting place allows your child to associate reading with something fun as well, as opposed to associating it with school and schoolwork. 


Look Up Popular Books


Don’t limit your kids to the books on their school summer reading list. There are many resources online and in bookstores that show which books are currently popular for children and teens, many of which have dedicated fan bases your child can connect with, especially when it comes to books for teens. 


The young adult genre is an ever-growing world full of diverse and engaging stories through which teens can learn different perspectives and connect with others over their love of reading. 


A popular series for ages 15 and up is Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, which takes place in the fantasy world of the Grisha, people with enhanced magical abilities.  This series is incredibly popular among teens and has a widespread, dedicated fan base.


Returning to children’s novels, the timeless Percy Jackson series is ever-expanding and has grown ever more popular with the release of the TV series earlier this year. This series is perfect for the middle-grade age range, written for ages 10 and up. 


For the elementary school-age kids, a fun series to start is the Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot series. With nine, fun & entertaining books to choose from, your child will definitely be entertained. Looking for something a little more girly, then check out the Roald Dahl Collection 16 Books Box Set on Amazon. You can’t beat the classics like Matilda, James & The Giant Peach and The BFG. Or, you can always start them out on Harry Potter!


These among countless others already have a following in the reading community, and choosing books other children have enjoyed is a surefire way to ensure your child finds a story they see themselves and their lives in.


Designate Reading Time


This one might come with a few groans and eye rolls from your children, but it’s worth it in the long run. Designating at least one hour of reading time per day ensures your kids take some time away from screens, and that they’re actually reading the books you bought at Barnes and Noble.


This hour is a nice break from the hustle and bustle of summer and a quiet space for children to use their brains to enjoy a good book. Studies show that children who read regularly showcase better sound recognition, vocabulary skills, and understanding of how stories work. 


If you have a younger child, reading aloud to them also has immense benefits. Take part in this hour with your children, whether by modeling this habit of reading by reading your own book, or reading aloud to your younger child. Put some instrumental music on and spend time together while immersed in the world of stories. 


Create a Reading Group 


If you know other families with children the same age as your own, create a reading group to discuss the books you have been reading and what you thought about them. I would have loved having this book club-type group as a child with other children my age. 


Everyone can read the same book, or if there are many different ages the smaller ones can read the same thing while the older ones read something different. This can be whatever you make it! It’s a way to help children connect with others and understand that reading can also create community and be an individual hobby. 


Happy Summer Reading!

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