Many children are unenthusiastic about reading because they think books are not exciting. So, we have included some fun reading activities for kids to help them develop positive feelings toward reading.
Children benefit significantly from reading as it helps develop their brain, boost memory, and develop imagination. If you want your children to start reading, involve them in fun activities and encourage them in different ways, such as setting a good example by reading yourself or creating a suitable environment for them to read. It might take time but soon your child will be turning to books for enjoyment and entertainment.
So, read about the different benefits of reading books, the activities you can plan, and the useful tips you can follow.
The Benefits Of Reading
There are some parents who are alright with the fact that their child does not like to read. Why should he read when the same information is available through meaningful programs on TV and the internet? But reading doesn’t merely help to assimilate knowledge- it serves a better purpose as well. For those of you who remain skeptical about the effects of reading, here’s how reading can influence your child positively:
- Positive impact on the brain
There’s no better way to keep the mind alert than to have a good read. Reading is a neurologically demanding task that causes the brain to expand and enhances learning capacity. So, get your child to read and help her boost his concentration and keep his memory sharp. It might also help develop their confidence and self-expression.
- Reading improves your child vocabulary and language
The obvious benefit of reading habits in children is improvement in vocabulary. To improve your child’s vocabulary, get her to read books. Being articulate will not only help your child improve self- confidence but will also help them achieve success in professional life with proper communication.
Nerine Dorman, an author, editor, and graphic designer, answers a few questions regarding her love for books. When asked about her earliest memories of books and reading, she says, “The house where I grew up was filled with books, and one of my earliest memories involves pulling books down from the shelves and being frustrated because I couldn’t read the stories… I couldn’t wait to read, and was able to do so from a young age – I was way ahead of my peers in that regard. By the time I was 12, I’d read through The Lord of the Rings in its entirety, and I was completely smitten. I knew then that one day I wanted to write my own stories, in my own made-up worlds (i).”
- Boosts imagination
Ever wondered how your favorite book turned out to be such a bad movie? Reading boosts imagination, creativity, and visualization. Even the grandest movie remake cannot compare to a novel. You never know what adventure is hidden between the pages of a book, awaiting discovery. So, help your child boost their imagination and visualization skills.
These benefits of reading may prompt you to motivate your child to start reading immediately. But if your child does not enjoy reading, you can create interest in it by reading aloud to them. According to research by Indonesian Journal Of English Education, reading aloud to children can help improve their vocabulary and diction. In addition, it can help enhance their communication skills and develop critical thinking skills.
Benefits of reading aloud to childrenSource: The Benefits of Reading Aloud for Children: A Review in EFL Context; Indonesian Journal Of English Education
10+ Interesting Fun Reading Activities For Kids
Reading has hundreds of benefits. All you need to do is help your little one to get into the habit of reading. Here are some interesting reading activities.
1. Read together daily
You Will Need:
- A wide range of interesting storybooks for your kids
- Get simple yet engaging storybooks and encourage your kids to read a story every day.
- Read aloud along with your kids and discuss books you read together.
- Reading nursery rhymes and repetitions help enhance your kid’s vocabulary.
- For older children, you can test their comprehension and interpretation skills by asking simple questions. This develops their critical thinking skills.
2. Play pre-reading games
You Will Need:
- 26 Cards
- Sketch pens
- Write an alphabet on each card using a sketch pen.
- Hide each card around your kid’s room and ask your child to find a group of letters in five minutes. Reading activities for children are fun, interesting and helps to improve knowledge in them. This reading activity for kids helps to improve their language and literacy skills.
3. Create a reading corner
You Will Need:
- Some pillows
- Soft blanket
- A bean bag
- A small bookshelf
- Your kid’s favorite books and new storybooks and picture books
- Place pillows and a soft blanket in a corner of your room.
- Place a bean bag for your child to sit on it and read.
- Create a small bookshelf in the corner.
- Place your child’s favorite books and some new books.
- Encourage your child to choose one of the books and sit on the bean bag or snuggle in the pillows and blanket and read.
- Do not give your child every book with a growth mindset. Some books are simply for enjoyment rather than learning.
4. Play board games
You Will Need:
- Interesting board games, such as Scrabble, Boggle, Bananagrams, and other similar board games
- Gift board games to your child and encourage her to play the games regularly.
- Play word-building board games along with your kid and get your entire family involved in playing it.
- Games are a good way to improve your child’s decision-making and problem-solving skills as well.
5. Gift joke books
You Will Need:
- Get interesting joke books that have easy-to-read jokes.
- Gift your kids joke books and encourage them to read one joke daily.
- Also, ask your child to read and share the jokes with others as this will improve their memorizing ability and vocabulary.
6. Provide children’s magazines and newspaper
You Will Need:
- Children’s magazines and newspapers.
- Subscribe to children’s magazines and newspapers and provide these children’s reading materials to your kids.
- Encourage your kids to read the children’s newspapers and magazines and share the news and stories with others.
7. Organize a children’s party
You Will Need:
- Kid’s favorite delicacies
- Party dress or kid’s favorite dress
- Storybooks meant for children
- Small gifts
- Throw a children’s party occasionally and invite your kid’s friends and kids in the neighborhood.
- Encourage your kids to wear their favorite clothes.
- Serve kid’s favorite finger foods.
- Provide kids popular children’s storybooks, and encourage every kid to read and narrate the story to others.
- Award the kids with small gifts after their storytelling.
8. Join a library:
You Will Need:
- Subscription to a local library that has children’s book or local children’s library
- Subscribe to your local children’s library and provide the library membership card to your child.
- Take your child to the library regularly and read with them. Explore a variety of children’s books, children’s magazines, and other children’s reading materials.
- Many times, the sheer number of books in the library can encourage your child to read. The quietness in a library can also serve as a time for reflection.
- Libraries are also a great place to teach children responsibility.
9. Organize a family read-aloud
You Will Need:
- Children’s books, newspapers, and magazines, and reading games.
- Establish twenty-minute time after your family dinner for a family read-aloud.
- Let all family members sit in a circle and encourage them to read or narrate a simple story or article.
- Encourage your child to read children’s books, magazines, newspaper articles and play reading games.
- You can enact a story adding laughter and joy to the family time.
- To provide motivation and encouragement, you can give double dessert helpings to the one who narrates the best story.
10. Acquaint your kids with tablet apps and ebooks
You Will Need:
- Tablet and tablet applications
- Acquaint your kids reading activities with tablets and tablet applications and download and introduce children’s Ebooks to them.
- Kids often gravitate towards electronic applications so you can tap their enthusiasm for gadgets to use your tablet and access and read engaging children’s books. However, remember good reading habits come from reading paper books also.
11. Reading bingo
You Will Need:
- Bingo cards
- Markers or stamps
- Children can freely select any square on the bingo card to begin and mark it upon finishing the corresponding reading activity.
- The objective is to achieve a row, column, or diagonal completion, mimicking traditional bingo rules.
- Establish a reward system for completing the entire card or achieving a bingo.
- Feel free to tailor the bingo card to the age group and interests of the children involved. Consider themed cards based on preferences, such as fantasy or science fiction, to enhance engagement.
How To Encourage Kids To Read?
1. Practice what you preach
Practicing what you preach is the golden rule of parenting. When was the last time you read a book? Remember, that you need to lead by example. So pick up a book before you ask your child to follow your cue. Take this initiative today.
2. Simulate the right environment
As a parent, you want to encourage your child to read more. A brilliant way to get children to read is to simulate an environment that encourages the habit. Consider buying books or subscribing to newspapers or magazines. Take your little munchkin to book fairs, or a bookshop that offers reading space. Visit the local library with your child. Teach your child to value their books. Gift them books as presents for birthdays and special occasions or offer them as rewards for their achievements. As their appreciation for the written word increases, they will start picking books more often.
3. Share your experiences
When you read, your child comes up to you and asks you to tell you about the plot or the book. Even if they cannot relate to the story, or the book isn’t age adequate, make the story up as you go along. Sharing stories will subtly introduce the concept that there is a magical and imaginative world within books and pique your child’s curiosity.
Studies assert that sharing your experiences is perhaps the best way to stimulate your child’s imagination and quicken their emotional development. So, discuss the book you are reading with your child. If you read something interesting or incredible, share the story with your little one.
You can also use books to improve values like empathy, teamwork, leadership, independence, and self-discipline in your child.
4. Socializing through books
Peer pressure often helps children develop reading as a habit. Perhaps you could encourage a group of children to form a reading club for engagement. Create a comfortable environment for children to read. Ask them to discuss the book they’re reading, the same way they would discuss their favorite video game. In fact, starting a reading club for the children is a great summer activity that keeps them inside the house and away from the hot afternoon sun. It could encourage collaboration with fellow parents in your neighborhood to start a young children’s book club and it could be a great way to build community. With active participation, your child can discover newer books.
When asked about her experience with children, Dorman adds, “I don’t have children, but when young ones visit my home, I always go find a pile of books for them to look at. Some kids are like me when I was that age, and we don’t hear a peep from them for the entire time that their parents are visiting. I like those kids, and I get what they’re experiencing when they get lost in those books. And they’ll definitely be invited over again. If they’re reading, it means they’re willing to discover new worlds.”
5. Connect reading to real world issues
Your child may be adamant about not reading. One way to encourage them to see how important reading is to what you read with what is happening around the world. Newspapers help you do just that. Encourage your child to read the kids’ news section in the newspaper. Books need not be only study material for your child. With a newspaper, education and entertainment go hand-in-hand. Moreover, newspapers teach cultural awareness.
6. Read to your kids
A research paper by John Hutton of the Reading and Literacy Discovery Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center concludes that there is a positive link between reading and brain activity. If you read to your child, chances are he will be better at ‘extracting the meaning from language’. Parents who regularly read to their children can boost their child’s potential and help them develop logical thinking skills.
7. Play word games
Games are a fun way to introduce a new word or even correct their spelling. Playfulness and humor are the best ways to introduce your child to the world of words. You can begin by giving her a word and asking her to come up with another word with a similar meaning. Continue the chain by suggesting another synonym. Encourage your child to play games like Scrabble or other word games. As your children start this new exploration, they will learn more in their excitement.
8. Curtail TV/video game time
Limit screen time to help attention span and spark creativity. Make time for other activities such as board games or word games. Watching too much TV slows the brain down and may lead to higher levels of anxiety among children. While limiting screens, children may drift towards reading.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to help my child who is reluctant to read?
Start by choosing topics that interest your child and expand the genre slowly. Identify their reading level and start with appropriate books. Make them read shorter books to give them a sense of accomplishment. You may even seek the help of a medical professional to rule out any learning disabilities. If the child has learning issues, seek the help of a professional for a suitable intervention.
2. What are the effective ways to increase your child’s reading skills?
Maintain a routine and ask your child to read at least a few pages daily. Connect the ideas presented in the book to the outside world to make the book relatable. Be patient with your practices and seek professional help if needed.
3. How do fun reading activities promote imagination and creativity in kids?
Fun reading activities engage children in creating and imagining through words. When children read for enjoyment, they explore their creativity and express themselves. It allows them to develop their ideas and encourages their imagination to grow, increasing creativity in various aspects of their lives (1).
4. What role do fun reading activities play in developing a child’s critical thinking skills?
Engaging in enjoyable reading activities is crucial for children’s critical thinking development. Studies show a positive link between creativity, intelligence, and reading skills, indicating that fun reading activities can boost critical thinking abilities. More research is required to fully grasp these connections in this group (2).
5. What are some fun reading activities that incorporate technology or digital resources?
There are enjoyable reading activities that use technology and digital resources, such as joining online book clubs, exploring interactive e-books with pictures and videos, and trying virtual reality storytelling for an immersive experience in fictional worlds.
6. How can parents make reading a fun and bonding experience for the whole family?
Parents can create an enjoyable and connecting moment through reading. They can select books that appeal to everyone’s interests, take turns reading aloud, have conversations, set up cozy reading spaces, use props and voices to make stories exciting, and include activities such as crafts or outings to enrich the experience.
7. How can fun reading activities help children develop empathy and emotional intelligence?
Engaging in enjoyable reading introduces children to various characters and situations, nurturing empathy as they grasp different viewpoints and feelings. By delving into captivating tales, children develop the ability to recognize and express their emotions, boosting their emotional intelligence.
8. What are some fun reading activities that promote cultural diversity and inclusion?
Explore books from various backgrounds to appreciate reading and embrace cultural diversity. Begin a book club dedicated to discussing diverse literature, exploring folktales and legends from different cultures, discovering influential figures from diverse backgrounds through biographies, and engaging in interactive storytelling that highlights diverse perspectives.
Reading is not merely gaining factual knowledge or knowing stories but is an exercise for the brain. It builds visualization and imagination in children and also improves their vocabulary. In present times children spend more time watching videos or playing video games than reading. Fun reading activities for kids will encourage them to read more. Playing word games, creating a cozy reading corner, forming a reading club with other children, gifting books, and reading along with children help them develop an interest in the activity and derive the numerous benefits of reading. Every single line they read is an achievement and soon they will achieve success and fulfillment.
Infographic: How To Encourage Reading In Children?
Reading has several advantages for children, including increasing vocabulary, enhancing attentiveness, and fostering creativity. Therefore, encouraging them to read is crucial for cultivating both their language development and a lifetime love of learning. Check out the infographic below for some helpful suggestions you may use to instill in your children the art of reading.
- Reading positively impacts the brain by keeping it alert, enhancing vocabulary and articulation, and boosting imagination.
- Ways to encourage a child to read include reading along with them, creating a reader-friendly environment, or joining a library.
- Parents can provide children with a variety of reading materials such as joke books, magazines, newspapers, or e-books on a tablet.
- To spark a child’s interest in reading, parents can read to them, connect what they read to real-life happenings, and share their experiences.
Engage and challenge your students with these five reading activities! Learn how to increase rigor and engagement in your classroom.
Personal Experience: Source
- Susan Bobbitt Nolen; (2007); Young Children’s Motivation to Read and Write: Development in Social Contexts.
- Roberta Louise Mariano Bezerra et al.; (2022); Creativity and its relationship with intelligence and reading skills in children: an exploratory study.