Drive and spell. Turn off the radio and challenge the kids in the car to read the different signs you encounter on the way to and from your activities. Once they get a little older, take the game a step further and challenge them to spell the places you’re passing; like library, hospital and restaurant.
Build a reading tent. Grab some blankets and create a fort for reading. Chose a handful of books or magazines and get started. Make rules and follow them. Ideas include requiring one book to be read before anyone can leave the tent, read every other page with your feet in the air or read aloud in a different voice. These activities will make read fun and encourage kids to read longer than if they’re just sitting at a desk or on the couch.
Pick up the newspaper. Reading about current events is one benefit to having your child read the paper. But the actual hardcopy version (not a digital download) teaches young readers a variety of new words. Make this a family exercise and check the copy for kid-friendly articles. Newspapers are printed with different types of text and this will introduce them to those differences. Even reading the comics section can be beneficial and provide some quality time together laughing over the jokes.
Write! One evening a week everyone in the family spends some time writing a story. It can be whatever they want. After 20 minutes, swap stories and take turns reading each others. This not only encourages reading, but also the art of writing. You never know what creativity sparks may start flying as a result.
These are just a few ways to encourage extra reading around the house when kids are away from school. You can also check with your local librarian or ask your child’s teacher for other ways to develop better readers in your family.