On average my children 8 and 6 are reading 6 hours per week. We’ve been using this method, what I also call ‘Books on Board’, for two years.
5 Practical Steps to Get Kids Hooked on Books
- Get a Library Card. If it’s blocked because of overdue books, than guess what? Pay the fines. In most cases you don’t have to pay the entire thing off. In Atlanta you can use your card if you have less than a $10 balance. Any resident can get a library card in most systems, including newborn babies.
- Find a Book Basket. Any durable container large enough to hold books sitting upright or on its side will do. Thrift stores sell large sturdy baskets in different shapes and sizes. The dollar store also has plastic bins with handles that would work.
- Fill your Book Basket. Go to your local library and check out books that would interest your child, and a few extras. I recommend 10 books for one child and no more than 15 for 2 or more children. If you can’t get to the library immediately, use what you have at home. Read more about what’s in the basket here.
- Get Books on Board. Create a No Electronic Zone in your car by replacing all devices with your Book Basket. Your goal is to make the little people sitting in the back of your car a captive audience. If they are free of distractions they will instinctively began using the books from the basket. If you have older children in the car, explain to them what you are trying to do and ask them to support you by reading their books in the car.
- Be On Time. Return books on time and check out new books frequently. It’s very important that you establish a routine trip to the library without your kids. At least twice a month. Use your smart phone to create reminders to return books. Remember, who says you need your kids to go to the library?
I’ve shared this method with friends and family and posted photos of my kids enjoying reading in the car all over Instagram and Facebook. Many have tried it and discovered that it is a very easy and simple solution. Advanced readers and emerging readers will all benefit from reading in the car with book baskets.
I recommend trying this for 30 days. That’s just two trips to the library, or one trip with a full load of books. If you get a months worth of books on your library trip be sure to divide your load and use the first one in the car and hide the other half. Swap after 10-14 days or when you notice your kids getting bored with their current selection.
There are many ways to cultivate your child’s love of reading and books. Check out this list of 25 Ways to Support and Encourage Life Long Reading.