Sharing stories with my daughter has been something I’ve looked forward to since before she was born and enjoyed all of her life. Now that we’re really growing into independent reading as well, it has been a good challenge on how to make reading fun for 8 year olds.
These years began my feeling of pride, magic and fun in reading. I was fortunate to grow up by great libraries that promoted summer reading as a special leisure pursuit and challenge, with tracking cards for hours and prizes.
I know many of us are trying to get back to analog days after devices became a major part of our childcare survival, connection and education the last few years. For our house, it takes a few weeks of intention to get back to our reading routines but it’s not long before complaints are replaced by peaceful afternoons and journeys into our imaginations. Here’s a few of my tips that we try anytime we want to put more focus on reading in the home.
How to Make Reading Fun for Eight-Year-Olds
Anything is Fun to Read
As a person who finds much of my calm in beauty, I subscribe to the idea of taking an editor role in what our children see, hear and take part in. However, when it comes to reading, I try to just applaud the thirst for stories – even spooky ones or the kind about Captain Underpants.
We read more classical books I like together, my daughter loves to read about kids like her and I tend to ask for magazine subscriptions to things like Highlights or National Geographic Kids as gifts. If there’s always something around to read it becomes an easy option for when boredom calls.
The Library is Your Friend
There’s nothing more magical than the library. It’s like a secret club for readers! Whenever our reading routine needs a boost, there’s the reminder that we have our very own library cards and can get any book we want.
I love to keep favorite books in the home and use the library to go ham checking out titles on any new topics that interest us. A pandemic finally got me on board with the online check out system, so it’s easy to swing by and drop off some returns and pick up new titles in the afternoon errands block. The library keeps fresh picture and coffee table books in rotation at our breakfast table – one of my favorite spots in the house for book browsing!
Get Into the Fun
This is more of a lesson based on my own failures, but I learn and remind myself quickly how much a child hates being handed a book as I stare into my own device.
Studies continue to prove the positive effects of modeling on reading, so when I think little eyes could use more time in front of books, it’s a healthy reminder that mine probably need the same. I love the quiet and calm of reading side-by-side on a train or in a hotel bed after a long day of exploring or a great family road trip. Get yourself that new book! You could be inspiring the next generation of readers.
Share Your Favorites
The best thing about having a kid at an age where I can remember being a child is sharing everything I loved and getting to enjoy it all over again through new eyes. This is especially true of books!
From Calvin & Hobbes to Ramona and, my all-time favorite, Heidi, it always brings extra enthusiasm to my reading to read something I loved. As much as I love finding new titles to explore together, any time we need a little boost in reading morale I seem to find a childhood favorite that makes it all fun for me again too.
Listening Counts as Reading
Our family loves to put on audiobooks while we’re all in the flat cooking, cleaning or just hanging out! It’s really fun to listen to family titles like Harriet the Spy or Hank the Cowdog and laugh together while I get laundry folded or dinner prepped. Being read to is a great way to get inspired to read, so I love it when Audible does the work with their great children’s titles!
My Favorite Picture Books for 8 Year Olds
My Favorite Chapter Books for 8-Year-Olds
Any tips on how to get our 8 year olds reading? Have a favorite title for this age group? Please share below!