Liam Recommends: Camping and Survival Books

Camping & Survival Books for Kids from What My Kids Read

Eleven-year-old Liam is here today with his favorite books on survival and camping.

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Poetry For Kids

Instead of my usual Wednesday Picture Book Review today, I wanted to share with you an often overlooked genre of picture books that your kids will probably enjoy: Poetry!

Poetry For Kids at What My Kids Read

My kids love poetry! I should probably qualify that statement by saying they actually enjoy the poetry we have read out loud to them and the poetry we have given them to read. They aren’t tackling Paradise Lost or The Lady Of The Lake, but they are all eager to listen when I sit down to read a book of children’s poetry. We even have a couple audio books of great children’s poetry that our kids listen to as a part of their learning. The poems are read by the authors or by actors, and it has been so fun to hear one child or another start quoting a poem in the voice of the actor only to have another sibling join in to finish. Maybe we’re just easily entertained, but I think it’s pretty fun. :)

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Happy Read A Book Day!

In honor of National Read A Book Day, I thought I would share an excellent quote by C.S. Lewis:

“A children’s story which is only enjoyed by children is a bad children’s story.”

Hope you take some time to read a good children’s story today! :)


Reading Resources for Parents

What My Kids Read is on Pinterest!

So, I just launched What My Kids Read Pinterest page this weekend, and I wanted to let you know about it! I’ve been gathering articles to help parents encourage reading, lists of chapter books, lists pictures books, activities based on books, lists of great read-alouds… You get the picture!
Anyway, please check out here: What My Kids Read and let me know what you think! What would you like to see more pins about?

4 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read (Part 1)

4 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read (Part 1) ~ [What My Kids Read]
We all want to encourage our kids to read, but some kids just aren’t interested. There can be a million different reasons for that, and a million different solutions! I thought I’d share a few tips with you today, and maybe do a small series of these tips. So, how can we encourage our kids to read?
4 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read: 1. Watch Your Words ~ (What My Kids Read)
1. Watch your words.
It is hard when our kids are not good at something. I want to make excuses (always justified, of course) or I want to tell them what needs to be corrected. “He’s shy.” “We haven’t mastered that yet.” “She struggles with math.” We say things like this about ourselves too. “I’m so clumsy!” “Math isn’t my strong set.” “I’m an introvert.” “I’m such a nerd.” It’s easy to do, and sometimes necessary to communicate to others that expectations might need to be adjusted. And yet, I will warn you: please take care in how you “label” your child.
A little over a year ago, David began praising Paul for his artwork (which was nice, but, objectively, nothing much out of the ordinary). David told him that he was a really good artist and that he should practice. It was truly amazing to see the change that happened in Paul after that. He took that as a part of his identity and began scribbling on every piece of paper he could get his hands on and he told everyone we met that he was an artist for a year after that. It became a part of his identity. Now, in this case, Paul has always been very sensitive to words, but I have seen the same thing (not quite as dramatically) happen with Liam and Brontë. Giving them a label, positive or negative, can change their beliefs about themselves. So, please be careful with your words! Saying “He just isn’t a reader” or “Reading isn’t her strong skill,” while it may be true, gives your child an identity and an excuse to not try to like reading. Instead, try to praise what you can. “She loves stories! When she gets started reading, she is going to love it!” “You are such a curious boy! I bet you are going to have a ton of subjects to look up at the library!” There are lots of ways to put a positive spin on what is naturally in them. So, avoid negative labels, and encourage positive identities!
4 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read: 2. Shake Up the Roles  [What My Kids Read]
2. Shake up the roles.
Having trouble getting your kids to practice reading out loud? A dear friend shared this great tip with me: ask your kids read to younger child to “teach” them. They get the practice of reading and feel like they are helping out (which they are!). My friend had a stroke of brilliance, went the extra mile with her 7 year old son, and planned book-based activities for him to do with his preschool-age younger brother. That motivated him to read out loud, gave him some practice as a teacher, and opened up a new way for him to interact with his baby brother. Can I just say, I have some smart friends? If you think this might be something to try in your home, Pinterest is a great resource to look for book-based activities!
4 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read: 3. Break Out of the Mold ~ [What My Kids Read]
3. Break out of the mold.
Sometimes kids that aren’t interested in reading really just don’t like fiction. Books do not have to be fiction, or even kid books! Introduce them to non-fiction. Recently, the boys have enjoyed books about what real spies do, joke books, and, believe it or not, they both devoured A Kid’s Guide to Washington, D.C.: Revised and Updated Edition(affiliate link). We were going on a trip, and I had checked out books for them to help plan the trip. It was so neat to see that Liam recognized many of the monuments, and he actually helped us figure out where we were once when he pointed out the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum! Anyway, the point is, if they have a question about it, there is probably a book about it!

Often, character development takes a while in fiction, and the plot may move too slow. Or maybe your kids just do not care about some made-up person’s life! Depending on why you want your kids to read, non-fiction may be just the ticket to getting them to pick up a book and start learning. Find topics that interest them, and you may be surprised to find them reading on their own.

4 Ways to Encourage Your Kids to Read: 4. Treat Reading as a Reward ~ [What My Kids Read]

4.Treat reading as a reward.
David Clark is a very dear friend of our family. He blogs occasionally over at Cafe 655, and it is always a worthwhile read. He once shared with us the best secret I have ever heard for encouraging kids to read: treat it as a reward to earn. As a child, as long as he and his brother were in bed promptly at bedtime, they were allowed to read as late as they wanted. It was a treat, a reward only given when they were in bed promptly on time. Click on over to this post to read about it in his words – he says it far more eloquently than I am!

So there you are! Four ways to encourage your kids to read. Are any of those suggestions helpful? I would love to hear about what works for your child! How do you encourage your kids to read?
If you are interested in buying these books, or anything else, please buy through our links!
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