Developing a love of reading in children is so important but in some cases can be a real challenge. Not every child takes to reading like a fish to water, and when parents are faced with a reluctant reader they may not know what to do. One idea is to introduce an element of competition. Kids love games, and encouraging them to compete with each other through reading games will get them excited about the activity and build a passion for learning that can last their entire lives. Here’s a look at using competition to boost reading skills.
Using Competition to Boost Reading Skills
There are many good reasons why using competition is a great way to build the tools your child needs to become an ace reader. The first is that competition is healthy and a fact of life. We have to compete for almost everything we get in life so not only do reading games help kids boost skills, they teach them to enjoy healthy head-to-head play.
Fantasy football is a wildly popular game, played all over the nation and sometimes described as “D&D for football fanatics.” One middle school has adopted the premise of that game to a reading competition known as the Fantasy Reading League. In this game, each team gains points based on player statistics, but the statistics come from kids’ weekend reading activities. The more the kids read, the better their team does. The winning team is crowned at a Super Bowl celebration over Thanksgiving recess.
The game is a runaway success and many students and teachers look forward to it every year. Kids latch onto it because it includes elements of the fantasy sports they love so much. Unlike those sports, though, where they have to rely on professional athlete stats, these kids get to be the athletes building points.
Organized activities like Fantasy Reading are just one kind of competition. In libraries all over the nation, kids engage in less formal reading challenges—three kids walk up to the librarian and ask for book recommendations based on their interest. The librarian selects a book for each, of roughly the same length. The kids then challenge each other to finish first.
The Thrill of Victory
The benefits are clear. There is a strong link between kids who read for fun and kids who do well in school. Leisure reading is directly connected to progress in not just vocabulary and grammar, but in mathematics as well. When kids choose to read through competition, they build educational skills and learning tools without even realizing it. As many teachers can tell you, tricking a kid into learning is sometimes the best way to go about the process.
For younger children, interactive e-books can be a great way to introduce them to the wonderful world of reading. Take a look at some of the amazing free e-books we have available, and then explore the other early reading and literacy tools throughout our website.