Draw a large caterpillar "Bookworm" on a sheet of white paper. Make several copies. With every book that your child reads, they are allowed to color in one of the sections of the bookworm with a bright color of their choice. Keep bookworm on the fridge or favourite message board. When all is completed and "colorful", you can reward your child with a special treat. For example; going to the book store to buy a new book or something as simple as being treated to an ice cream cone. If you can't afford new books, go to the library, your child can get his/her own library card or visit a thrift store for used books.
Your child can keep each bookworm, name it and put the title of the book on the paper too, then insert into a folder or binder and keep them all. Have your child give out Bookworms to friends and start a Bookworm Club!
By linn from Canada
I think the easiest way to get children to enjoy reading is to start reading to them when they are very young, as soon as they can sit up and enjoy looking at pictures. Make 'story time" a part of the day's activities. As they get older, take them to the library and find books on subjects they enjoy. Also, let them see that Mom and Dad enjoy reading too, even if it means turning off the TV for a while. Encouraging a love of reading is one of the most important things you can do for your child.
By Joan from Chesterfield, MI
You as a parent/guardian are most important to the equation. Your time and interest will spark your child's.
First, lead by example. Let your children see you reading the newspaper or magazines. Occasionally read something age-appropriate and of interest out-loud to the family. Turn off (or not turn on) the television to curl up with a good book. Discuss books with friends. And refer to books for information rather than going to the computer all of the time.
Second, read the same book as your child(ren) so that you can discuss it with them. Play 'games' like guessing the ending ahead of time, or what will happen next, or what would have happened if.
Third, have your child 'help' you by reading a recipe out-loud step by step as you make a treat for the family. Or read craft instructions and then do the craft together. Give your child a short written list of groceries to get for you while shopping (be specific as to brand or add info like label color, etc). This usually works well with canned vegetables or soups.
Make reading fun and not a chore. Never criticize a child's choice of reading materials (unless they are very inappropriate). I had one child that hated reading any type of fiction until around 4th grade, but he devoured non-fiction material- how to, animal life, science, biography, space, etc. Then he went into a total fantasy phase. It keeps evolving but now he will read almost anything. My daughter loved "Junie B. Jones" books (while I disliked them because of the vernacular spelling and grammar), but she outgrew them in time. Both of my children now read several 'grades' above their current level and like to visit the library for new material regularly. It is never too early or too late to start.
By Melodyy from Oak Ridge, TN
By pamphyila from Los Angeles, CA