Some kids are natural bookworms, happy to spend hours of their day curled up in a comfy chair with a stack of chapter books. And some kids are, well, not.
But reading is still an important life skill and if they’re fighting you on reading more than the school’s required 15 minutes per day, you might have to find creative ways to trick them into reading a little something extra.
One way to get them reading without realising it is to reach them through their favourite music. If their books are collecting dust but they roam through the house all day singing to themselves, it’s time to introduce them to the wonderful world of song lyrics.
Back in the day, when you got a new cassette or CDm the first thing you did was pop that puppy in and unfold the sheet of itty-bitty lyrics so we could squint and sing along. Kids these days will never get to experience that joy, so we’ve got to recreate it for them.
It’s both nostalgic (for us) and educational (for them).
To create a read-and-sing-along moment without spending any money, try searching for the title of their favourite song plus “karaoke” or “lyrics” on YouTube. Kidz Bop in particular has a solid selection of popular songs redone—with lyrics cleaned up as necessary—by kids, for kids. When they include lyrics in the videos, they tag them with #readalong. (Quick reminder here about how to keep your kids safe on YouTube.)
If you really want to go all out, you could splurge on a kids’ karaoke machine.
Or, you could go the old-school route, like Reddit user u/Sup3rtroop3r1 did and simply print out the lyrics to your kid’s favourite songs and crank up the tunes:
After listening to him sing his version of Sunflower for the millionth time, I had the bright idea to print the lyrics out. Now he’s reading as much as he’s singing!
If you get your kid’s favourite song stuck in your head all day, now at least you know they’ve gotten in a little extra reading practice in the process.