I thank my lucky stars every day that my kids are voracious readers. Seriously, a couple dozen books gifted to my daughter at Christmas are usually gone by mid-February. I’ve never met another 9 year old who only asks for books for presents, either. My son isn’t as enthusiastic, but he’s still loves to read books that interest him–there was no prying Harry Potter out of his hands. To say the least, we’ve kept up the reading since school’s been out it goes a long way to keep their skills sharp for when school starts soon!
We all want kids that get into books, but not all kids show this pure and total joy when it comes to reading, sometimes it takes a nudge to foster some book love. Here are a few ideas to get your family running down the book path.
Create a space your kids want to read in. Build a backyard reading teepee!
Making nice soft, cuddly space that your kids can’t wait to go plop down in is a great step to getting them to stay still long enough to open a book. And if you build them something as cool as a backyard reading tepee? You may end up with a serious reader on your hands for all the time they’re going to want to spend there.
Reading Teepee Materials:
- 4 (four) 7.5-foot lengths of PVC pipe
- Two twin bed sheets
Building a teepee is ridiculously easy. Really. You really should skip the pre-made ones, as you can get one together yourself for about $10. I used sheets and clothespins we had and twine leftover from another project. All I had to buy was the PVC…which will be re-purposed, too, once the kids get tired of the teepee. And if you don’t want to use your good sheets? Drop into a thrift store and pick up a few for around a $1 or so apiece. They’ll be good for building forts with or having picnics on later!
Making the Reading DIY Teepee
Take two of your PVC poles and cross them near the top. It’ll help having an extra pair of hands at this point. Wrap the twine around the top to tightly secure the poles to each other. Make sure you’re wrapping the joint horizontally and vertically so there is no movement in the poles.
Overlap the remaining two poles on your already wrapped poles so the bottoms of the poles are in a wide square on the ground. Take the twine and wrap the loose PVC poles tightly to the wrapped poles until they don’t wiggle to complete your teepee frame.
From there, just drape a sheet over the frame of your teepee and secure it with a few clothespins. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just cover the poles to make a great little space for your kids!
I really wanted the kids to enjoy their new reading teepee, so I threw a blanket on the grass inside and added a couple of pillows. Then I stopped into my one-stop-back-to-school shop, Sam’s Club®, and picked up a package of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats and water to serve up to the kids while they were reading.
I might have added a few strawberry/banana skewers just to make things balanced. Bonus? I can make this a party anytime for the kids, and by buying treats with the “Start School Like a Champion” logo on it, I’ll be able to get even more books for the kiddos to enjoy.
Provide books they are interested in.
Seems reasonable, right? Eventually we all have to read books we hate (ahem, anything by Dickens–blasphemy, I know) but when your kids are starting out their reading careers, put something in their hands that they are really going to enjoy so they learn to love books. The Sam’s Club® is running “Start school like a champion!” promotion has a lot of really great books in it, and in addition, I’m going to offer up a list of favorites that my two bookworms have loved if you’re hunting for something good!
Older Chapter Book Readers
- Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
- Harry Potter series
- Robots series by James Patterson
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney
- The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall
- Nancy Drew Mystery Stories by Carolyn Keene
- Pippi Longstocking and Karlson books by Astrid Lindgren
- Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry
- Treasure Hunters books by James Patterson
- How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell
- Charlie Bone series by Jenny Nimmo
- A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket
Younger Chapter Book Readers
- Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald J. Sobol
- Magic Treehouse series
- Magic School Bus series
- Horrible Harry books by Suzy Kline
- Captain Underpants series (the books that got my kids to love reading…but beware the resulting potty talk after!)
Beginning Readers/To Read to Your Kids
- The Interrupting Chicken
- Toot & Puddle books
- Anything by Sandra Boynton
- First Book of Sushi by Amy Wilson Sanger
- Puff the Magic Dragon
- Llama Llama Red Pajama series
- Is Your Mamma a Llama
Our bookshelves overflow, seriously. This is a small sample of the loved and won’t let me purge collection.
Start with the freebies from Sam’s Club first, though. Picking up those books is super simple:
1. Buy any participating Kellogg’s or The J.M. Smucker Company product by 9/30/2016
2. Upload your receipt at FreeBookOffer.com/Sams within 30 days of purchase.
3. Redeem for your free Scholastic book and one book will be donated to a local classroom as well!
Remember, look for this logo when you purchase your products!
You can check out FreeBookOffer.com/Sams for a complete list of products that are participating in this promotion.
Have them read to someone who really appreciates it.
Sometimes if my younger one resists a reading break on his own, if I offer up the opportunity to read to someone else and he’s a lot more excited about it. The dog, a younger sibling, or an elderly neighbor would all work.
Having someone who’s focused on you and entertained by you for a bit can be a great push to get some reading done!