Tips to Keep Family Reading Fun

Library Resources | November 21, 2019

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We’ve all heard the phrase “families that read together, read forever”. Here are a few tips on how to keep this tradition alive in your family.

In today’s day and age, with smartphones, computers, TV and the internet just a click away, it’s all too easy for us all to get caught up in life behind a screen. Has family reading become a thing of the past? Reading together as a family helps bring us together, builds relationships, encourages imagination and creates beautiful memories for children, and in most cases, parents too. Doing so has many benefits and it doesn’t have to be boring. We’ve put together a few ideas to help bring families together by reading together:

Create a plan and make it fun

Take the kids to the local library to look around to get ideas, and while you’re there, you do the same. Go to different sections and get an idea of what excites you all. If you don’t know where to start, most libraries have a ‘Book of the Week’ where they make suggestions. This can help, especially if you don’t have a lot of time to browse.

Once you’ve all chosen a couple of books each, reconvene and make a list of them. Choose one to take away the same day, and when you get home, turn your list into a fun family project! See which of those books are available online as e-books — we all know kids love their tech these days. Write the books out in brainstorm format on the wall. Write the titles on little bits of paper and pop them in a jar, then when you finish your current book, choose a new one at random from your jar. Whatever method you choose, make it fun. Get the kids pumped to want to read and keep reading.

Make reading routine and enjoyable 

Family reading can become a beautiful tradition, and there are a couple of simple things can you can do to keep all the family engaged. One of those is establishing a regular reading routine. Choose a day of the week or month to get your tradition in motion and stick to it. Make it fun by reading in the park or having a picnic. If there’s something in the book you can incorporate into reality, do it. Get the kids to dress up as characters or act little scenes out. Children love to get involved.

Invite others along

Family isn’t restricted to those who live together only, so why not invite others along. Tell grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunties and uncles or friends who become family. This creates a perfect environment for bonding with other family members and encourages communication between different age groups too. We’ve all been to family gatherings where the kids all sit in room and the adults in another. Bringing the family together to read a short story helps bridge that gap and builds beautiful memories all will cherish. This environment is a breeding ground for inspiration too so your brainstorms and jars can keep growing.

Encourage learning

Now that you have their attention, incorporate some non-fiction material in there too. While children are young, they absorb everything they see and hear, so all time spent with them is an opportunity to teach them. There are an abundance of fun learning books, art and science books and e-books for students available today. If you choose some science books and there are quick and easy experiments in there, try them out. Get them outside and show them what they are learning too, don’t read about it only. Children love to learn, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what you learn, too. 

These tips are designed to give you a little inspiration on how to re-ignite family reading. We asked some EBSCO employees to share some helpful ideas that work for them.

Tina Foote, Senior Account Executive, Corporate:
“I took my three-year-old daughter to the local public library from a very early age, first for baby rhyme time and now every few weeks so she can choose new books. We’ve spent time reading every day, even if it’s just a few minutes. Now it’s become routine and my daughter absolutely loves books. Sometimes, I catch her doing baby rhyme time with her stuffed animals reciting the books she knows by heart or making up completely new stories.”

Andrew Wright, Academic Account Executive:
“Ivy is only 14 months so we mostly have interactive sensory books. We encourage her to choose a book and then take part in the story, whether that’s pulling down flaps, making animal noises or just turning the pages. If she wants to skip through it, we let her, we go with what she wants to get out of the book. Our aim is for her to see a book as she would a toy, fun and engaging.”

Check out some of EBSCO’s latest e-books picked out by EBSCO’s collection development librarians.

View Our Popular Juvenile Fiction & Nonfiction Collection

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