Does that sound like your fourth grader?
We have five ways to beat the reading blues and turn books into portals of adventure for your child and your whole family! But beware, some of these methods (and books) will be so fun, you may steal them for yourself!
#1 Start a Monthly Book
Reading doesn’t have to be a solo activity! Help your child start a book club with their besties. But before your child can make a face at the idea of hosting a reading club or use the dreaded, unspeakable word that renders any activity cancelled (you know… “uncool,”) show them how stories can come to life with a few amazing book themed activities like:
- Tap into the Power of the Force with Reading – Do you have a Star Wars fan on your hands? Then your child and their friends will definitely laugh their way through The Strange Case of Origami Yoda.
- Follow The Clues to a Good Story – Sleuth around the house with scavenger hunts and The Secret of the Staircase by Steven K. Smith. Kids will be enthralled by one of the best middle-grade mysteries out there, and solving clues around the house will help them feel like detectives in their own story.
- Cracking the Spy Code – Every spy needs to keep secrets. Which of your child’s friends has a stone-cold spy face? And who can be read like a book? Play a little game of mafia after your kids talk about the middle grade mini spy thriller Spy School by Stuart Gibbs!
#2 Fabulous Fan Fiction
Image Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/VkwRmha1_tI
Has your kid ever wanted to rewrite the ending of their favorite movies or TV shows? Introduce them to the wonderful world of fan-fiction! Kids can write, act out, or even draw alternative storylines to keep them engaged in the themes, characters, and plots of new books.
Here are a few ideas from some of our favorite books for fourth graders:
(SPOILER ALERT, SKIP THIS BULLET POINT IF YOU WANT TO SAVE THE SURPRISES FOR LATER):
- Magical New Stories – School Library Journal Best Graphic Novel of 2019, The Okay Witch follows the journey of a tween-age witch, Moth Hush. After your child reads the last chapter, they’ll be dying for the story to continue. And they can continue it themselves or come up with their own spinoffs!
- Pen Pals – Dear Sister, is an amazing story of hilarious and heartfelt letters from a brother to their sister. How about writing a spinoff series called Dear Brother? Who else could your child write a letter to in their life? You might find you’ve ignited a passion for penmanship in your child—maybe stock up on stamps before handing this book to your kid!
#3 Take Your Kids and Their Books on a Field Trip!
Image Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/Ch2kxtjeEEc
The beauty of books is that you can read pretty much anywhere (except long car rides… even though it’s always so tempting and the car sickness is almost always worth it). So engage your child by getting off the couch and seeing books in a different context:
- Picturing Books at an Art Museum – Head to an art museum after reading Framed! by James Ponti. When an art theft leaves the FBI totally clueless, who does the Director of the FBI call? Florian Bates, middle schooler, professional observer, and crime solver. After reading the book, take your kid to a nearby art museum and watch your kid appreciate these masterpieces in a brand-new light.
- Blast Off into Astronomy – Shoot for the stars after reading George’s Cosmic Adventure by Lucy Hawking and Stephen Hawking (that’s right, the famous physicists can tell outstanding stories!). This story combines adventure and science, so have an adventure of your own by planning a visit to a nearby planetarium (or grab some supplies for a night picnic and go stargazing!).
- Build-Your-Own Magical World – Your child’s imagination can take you anywhere. Turn your living room, kitchen, or entire house into a whole new world after reading The Land of Roar by Jenny McLachlan and Ben Mantle. In the story, twins Arthur and Rose turn their grandparent’s attic into a magical world full of ninja wizards, monsters, and mermaids.
Borrow geography from the book or watch your child create a world of their own. Maybe your kitchen is a lagoon of robot sharks, your couch a flying pirate ship, or the place under your child’s bed a cave full of treasure!
#4 Make Reading an Occasion
Image Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/l6yLVM-FJxc
A reading party? Is that a thing? Of course it is! Borrow themes from your child’s books to create a celebration of storytelling.
Get creative with foods, costumes, and activities like:
- A Swinging, Reading Time – Think Robin Hood, but make it Gatsby. Set in the 1920s, The Good Thieves follows a group of kids set on outsmarting a vicious real estate tycoon. For this reading party, your family can learn the Charleston or the Fox Trot, serve foods that were popular in the 20s like mac and cheese with sliced hot dogs, deviled eggs, or pineapple upside-down cake, and even try out some 1920s slang.
Sounds copacetic, don’t it, Ace?
- A Book Circus – Host your very own magical family circus after reading Circus Mirandus! Put on some YouTube videos, learn to juggle scarves, invite your kid to practice their best ringleader voice! If you’ve got a family pet (or if your child happens to have a rowdy sibling), see what tricks you can try.
- Reading Forts for Cozy Storytime – Pull out the extra blankets, couch cushions, and flashlights to create a cozy occasion to read A Nest for Celeste: A Story About Art, Inspiration, and the Meaning of Home. Because everything is better in a blanket fort (but especially reading).
#5 Get Book Fun Delivered To Your Door with Literati
Image Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/lUaaKCUANVI
Getting stuff in the mail + outstanding stories picked just for kids = an amazing way to excite your child into reading? That all adds up to us here at Literati.
Literati is a kids book subscription service that parents and kids adore. Every month, your child will receive five amazing books as well as stickers, art, and other fabulous book swag. Each book is carefully curated by our kids lit experts for maximum fun, engagement, and learning.
Start a New Chapter of Fun
From field trips to book clubs, finding new ways to make reading fun can be the key to unlocking your child’s love of reading. Give these tips a try and watch reading go from a boring chore to an exciting adventure.
Taste of Home. 40 Vintage Recipes from the ’20s Worth Trying Today. https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/vintage-recipes-from-the-1920s/