You are browsing for books at the big chain bookstore and your kids immediately gravitate to the spin rack filled with pictures of LEGO NINJAGO, Paw Patrol, or Doc McStuffins on the covers. “Mommy, I want this one!”
We’ve all been there. It reminds me of going to the grocery store and the Baby Ruth, Bubbiliciuos bubblegum, and Butterfinger candy bar are all within finger reach of little ones in the checkout lane.
The junk, fluff, twaddle, whatever you want to call it always seems to be front and center shouting, “Buy me!” It’s one of my frustrations when it comes to my child’s reading diet.
Now don’t get me wrong. I think a little junk (food or reading) now and then is fine. I don’t deny my kids either. But, I do try to make sure I’m giving them a good dose of the good stuff too.
Here are three ways I try to “feed” my kids with a healthy reading selection.
3 Ways to Offer a Healthy Reading Diet
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I make sure there are lots and lots of mom (or dad, grandma, uncle, teacher) picks in our library pile. Utilizing the library’s online ordering system helps me maintain a healthy ratio of “good for you” books to the junk my kids tend to pick up.
Don’t get me wrong. My kids don’t always select junk. Because they have been fed a healthy diet of classic picture books and a big scoop of captivating read-alouds, they know about the good stuff and desire that too.
Need some book suggestions? I’ve got oodles and oodles.
2- Read Aloud
And that brings me to the second tip. The more you read aloud the great books (fairy tales, myths, realistic fiction, historical fiction, biographies, etc,) the more they will crave returning to those enriching books you share together.
Chances are if you read a Ribsy by Beverly Clearly, your kids will want you to read Henry Huggins and Henry and Ribsy too. That might then lead you to the Ramona books and Socks. Read one E.B. White book (I’d start with Charlotte’s Web.) aloud, and you’ll probably want to check out his others too.
There is great power in a read-aloud.
3- Try a Reading Challenge
From time to time to we like to have a reading challenge. It’s a fun way to introduce new genres, new authors, and new books.
Oh, and when we are the bookstore, I do let them have one junk pick if that is what they choose. Because who doesn’t like to go the store and get a Butterfinger candy bar every now and then. But, I also buy some books that I know are good for them and that they will love just as much if not more.
For more great posts on reading, check out these goodies.