In our technologically advanced society it can be difficult to get our eyes up and out of the screens. Kids are not the only ones guilty of getting sucked into their games, social media, and television. As adults in this day and age we are expected to be constantly accessible and getting out of that “on call” mindset can be difficult. One great way to escape from the hustle and bustle of screen time is with reading! Here are some great ways to get the whole family reading a little bit more!
Family Book Club
This is an awesome way to get the whole family not just reading but discussing. If you can all agree on one book that’s fantastic but more realistically, agree on a topic. Schedule in a book club night as often as you can, maybe once or twice per month! If you are worried about keeping everyone involved celebrate with a pizza at home for dinner while you discuss your books. Encourage everyone to participate by taking turns selecting the topic. This way you each get to learn more about one another’s interests. Another fun way to run family book club is to match your dinner / celebration with your topics! Have some spaghetti while you’re reading about Italy, Kung Pao Chicken when you’re discussing martial arts, etc.
This one is a no brainer. If you want your kids to read more and spend less time in front of their screens, reward them. Instead of rewarding your kids with money or objects let them work toward a family reward. Use an easy star chart or a checklist and decide as a family how you’ll celebrate for everyone hitting their goals! Maybe you can have a picnic at your favorite park, see a local sports team in action, or maybe a family dance party with glow sticks and a disco ball! This works for kids and adults alike and when the kids see you hitting your reading goals they will be motivated to reach theirs as well.
Set up some family challenges. If you have a competitive bunch this can be a very good way to get everyone reading! The winner might get to choose the next movie or board game for family night or perhaps they get to pass on their least favorite chore this week. There are lots of ways to get your family excited about a reading challenge. If everyone meets their monthly goal have dessert for dinner at the end of the month! Don’t be afraid to leverage their love of screen time to get everyone’s nose in a book. Apple/Google Play credits can be as good of a reward as any for the winner of a monthly reading challenge!
Occasionally it can be fun to team up. This can be a great way to keep everyone involved if you have younger children who need help reading! You can go so many different ways with this by pairing up siblings, boys and girls, parents and kids, etc. Try pairing everyone up and setting out to create a presentation about your book. Try using funny topics or books to keep the mood light and carefree; if it feels like work no one will want to continue! Try and get your family to guess what book you are talking about with a fun game of charades based on your book! Another fun way to work in pairs is by reading the same book and seeing how everyone’s opinions and interpretations are different. This can be a fun way to learn about point of view and perspective!
Big Screen Inspiration
Ever watched Harry Potter? Narnia? Goosebumps? Those stories have graced the big screen in the recent years, but they started on the pages of books. For adults and kids alike, discovering a book based on a favorite movie is a great way to get your family reading more. If the movie has yet to be released, then reading the book together as a family before going to see the movie can work as an incentive. Even if the story wasn’t originally a book many popular films are turned into books after their big screen debut.
No matter what you decide to do remember that you can’t go wrong with a classic: choose a novel as a family and spend a set amount of time reading aloud each evening. This time can be phone/TV/computer free and a great opportunity to unwind and calm down at the end of the day!
How does your family read together? Do you have a favorite family story?