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When I was a child, reading came naturally. I grew up reading anything I could get my hands on: store catalogs, the back of cereal boxes, romance novels. I was even known to sit down and read encyclopedias from front to back. Today, with so much technology, gadgets, iPhones and games, your child may be too distracted to learn to love to read. In this post, we will share with you tips and ideas on how to inspire a love for reading. BONUS: Learn about a fantastic program with Kellogg’s® + Scholastic® on how you can earn Free Books for Kids.
How to Earn Free Books for Kids
For those of you who read our blog, you might be thinking “Where’s the Recipe?” or “What is Teri making today?”. This post is a little different. Usually we partner with brands to tell you about their new products. Or, we may write about how to create a delicious recipe or DIY craft. Today we want to share with you a program from Kellogg’s and Scholastic that you need to know about.
When you shop at Target and purchase certain Back to School items from Kellogg’s, you can earn free books for kids. You can keep these books for your own children, or donate them to a school, library or local program in need.
We grabbed on-the-go snacks for school lunch. There are so many products available with the promotion, including Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, Corn Flakes, Pop-Tarts, Pringles, Cheez-Its, Fruit Snacks, Nutri-Grain, Eggo Homestyle Waffles and many more. Click here to learn more.
The goal of this program is to get more books into the hands of more children one box at a time. It is so easy to earn free books for kids from Target simply by purchasing products you already use. Just snap a picture of your receipt for a qualifying product and submit it online at the Kellogg’s Family Rewards site.
- Each receipt must be submitted separately and within 30 days of purchase.
- Get credit to redeem for a book of your choice to keep or donate. Credits must be redeemed by 12/18/18. Limit of 10 books per participant.
1 Box = 1 Free Book. It is that easy.
17 Ways to Inspire your Child to Read
1. Books, Books Everywhere
Keep books everywhere. In your child’s room, in your purse, in the car. When your child looks at you with that “I’m bored” look, they will be more likely to pick up a book if it is within reach. (Instead of the oh-so-handy smart phone.)
2. Create a Happy Reading Place
If your children have their own quiet place to read, they will be less distracted and enjoy their book. This can be a small space in their room or in another part of your home. It can even be their nice, comfy bed. Create a place with great lighting, a comfy pillow, a snuggly blanket and turn them loose with their favorite reading material.
3. Give Books as Presents
Instead of loading up on all toys, electronics, and clothes for birthdays and Christmas, why not give books instead? When your child learns that a book is a gift, not a school assignment, their opinion will shift (if only a little.) With help from Scholastic and Kellogg’s Rewards program and Target, you’ve got free books for kids coming!
4. Pick a Topic they Already Love
If your kid is crazy about dinosaurs, get them books about dinosaurs. If they are older and show an interest in digital art, buy them books about that. Yes, children can change their interests faster than you can blink an eye, but by starting with books on ideas and themes they already love, they will be more likely to read it. For pre-teens and teens, finding out “what they’re into” can open the doors of communication, too.
5. Read the Book BEFORE You Watch the Movie
How many times has your kid watched an old movie, or a remake of a classic, and loved it? In your mind, you are thinking “But I read that book when I was a kid”. Do some googling and dig into your memory banks. Make a list of age appropriate books that were made into a movie. Find the book, find the movie…and let your child read the book first before the movie fills in the blanks in their imagination.
6. “Read” by Example
When your children see you reading, they will be more inspired to pick up a book on their own. Even if you are not a big time reader yourself, don’t kill the desire to read in your children. Read the paper, magazines, even pick up a book or two for you when you are book shopping for your kids.
7. Family Book Swap
This is such a fun one. Swap books with your kids. Read something they have read, and let them read one of yours. (Use your judgment on topic and reading level of your children.) Who knows, you may enjoy the same type of books. (Or..not.)
8. Read Out Loud to Each Other
Based on the age of your kids, reading aloud to one another is the perfect way to boost your child’s reading confidence. Reading aloud is a skill they will need all of their lives, in school, at work, and more. It also gives you a chance to help them with big words and pronunciation. (And who doesn’t love hearing their little one’s sweet voice?)
9. Get a Library Card…and Take the Kids to the Library
Looking for an inexpensive activity to share with the kids? The local library is perfect. My daughter has three library cards, for our town and the two next two us. This way if we are out and about or just looking for something to do, I take her to the library. She can browse books, read a little, and check them out. Most libraries also offer free wifi if they insist on listening to their tunes. (Be flexible, Mom + Dad.). Libraries also offer great educational programs for various age levels that are usually free to very low cost.
10. Used Book Stores
Used book stores are a fantastic resource for avid young readers or readers that aren’t sure what they are interested in yet. Most used book stores offer a trade-in program so you can swap out books that you already have or want to return.
11. If They Ask for a Book…Buy It
I know this can be hard based on your personal financial situation, but the way I look at it, investing in a book that your child wants is an investment in their future. My daughter stops at the book section in every store we go in. More often than not, she asks for a book. I’ve even put items back on the shelf so she can get that book. We can live without cookies.
12. Ask about School Programs
Ask about school programs that encourage children to read. This can be either in a classroom setting or outside school hours. The Accelerated Reading Program encourages children to read books and later tests them on reading comprehension. This program is not part of a child’s grade, but it does allow them to earn points for their class and recognition from their teachers and peers. If your child struggles with reading, ask about free tutoring and how you can get involved at home.
13. Summer Reads
Just because school is out doesn’t mean your kids shouldn’t open a book. Pick out some fun, light reading material for your kids to read during summer break, spring break and fall break. Nothing too heavy, but anything to keep them in the reading habit.
14. Create a Community Book Share
Have you seen the little boxes of books in neighborhoods? The idea is for anyone to leave a book or two and take a book or two and share. This encourages a sense of community and is a great way to get our kids involved in reading in more ways than one. (This would be a great use of Kellogg’s + Scholastic Free Books for Kids program.)
15. Schedule Reading Time
Like homework and household chores, you may need to schedule Reading Hour for your family. Make it a ritual part of your lifestyle. This is also a way for your child to have personal downtime and strengthen his imagination.
16. Write Stories
Ask your child to write little stories about their day or an event that has recently happened. Then ask her to read it to you, or you can read it to her. Or, take a few minutes and write down a little story about YOUR day (keep it PG) and share it with your kids.
17. Don’t Leave it Up to the Teachers
Yes, we send our children to school to learn. But teachers can’t do it all alone. A lifelong love of reading should start at home and be encouraged at home in as many ways as possible. Ask them what they are reading in school, and not just in reading class. Think about it, they read in Math class, Science class, Geography, Health, etc. Your children read all day long for work. Help them learn how to make it enjoyable.
Reading is a skill that your child will use all of their lives. In school, in college, at work and in their every day life. Inspire your children, motivate them.