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Sharing books with your kids is one of the greatest joys of parenting—but that doesn't mean it's always easy. It's hard to show off the magic of the written word when there's all kinds of fun toys and screens lying just out of reach. Here are six ideas to liven up story time and make your kiddos into budding bookworms.

1. Create a reading chart. Bust out some school supplies and make a chart to keep track of reading progress. A chart can be any size; a focal point in a child’s room or a binder to keep things organized. It doesn’t matter how big the chart is, but make sure to reward him or her for finishing a book or a chapter. Stickers are magical things.

2. Pair activities. If your child is reluctant to read then pair the act of reading with something more hands-on. Have craft supplies ready to make a special themed DIY (such as fish magnets for the fridge after reading Dr. Seuss’ One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish) or make a book-themed lunch (green eggs and ham, anyone?).

3. Act out stories. Bring the books to life. Take turns reciting lines or read the book out loud in different character voices. You can even read along with an audiobook or watch a film adaptation afterwards.

4. Read themed books. Make books a special part of holidays. Celebrate the first snowfall with a winter-themed book. Get excited about an upcoming birthday by reading books with protagonists who are the same age. Pairing books with exciting days makes books exciting too.

5. Let kids choose the books. The best way to get kids excited about reading is to let them choose what they want to read. The easiest way to do this? Take them to the library and point them in the right direction. They can choose any book they want from the designated shelves and it won’t cost you a cent.

6. Have a designated reading space. Set up a special area in the house that is only meant for reading. Throw a bunch of comfy pillows on the floor or set a favorite blanket on a reading chair.

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Maria Vicente is an associate literary agent at P.S. Literary Agency. She likes books, coffee, design, & magic. You can find her on Twitter (@MsMariaVicente) or her blog, ibelieveinstory.com.


Maria Vicente's picture

Maria Vicente

Maria Vicente is an Associate Agent at P.S. Literary Agency. She is also the Wicked Witch of the East Coast.