Are Books Limited at Home? 4 Ideas to Get Your Kids Reading


My littles are really lucky to have SO many books at their fingertips. I know most families don’t have access to books like my kids do. However, as I have made independent reading time a priority in our home, I realized that some of the reading material that fills my children’s reading time could be accessible in many homes, not just the home of a former first-grade teacher. Stick with me and check out some of the ways we are being resourceful to rake in the reading time.

What Kids Can Read At Home When Books are Limited

1. Cookbooks

With recipes so easy to access from my phone, I rarely pop open a cookbook anymore. However, I do have a small shelf in my kitchen that houses some of my favorite cookbooks. Last week, I added a couple of cookbooks to Molly’s reading bin. She was so excited to look through the cookbooks and choose some new dinners for our family. When Molly found yummy recipes, she wrote down the ingredients in a shopping list. Reading, writing, AND meal planning. Not bad, right?

2. Karaoke Lyrics

Step into our home and you are certain to witness a performance of some sort. This Christmas, Molly got a karaoke microphone. It is rose-gold. It is loud. And it even has the ability to make your voice echo. Pretty swanky, right? She loves the darn thing. My relationship with the microphone is much less amiable.

I recently formed a more endearing bond with Molly’s microphone when I realized she was getting some extra reading time with every performance. If your school-age children are lacking reading material, open up a Frozen karaoke video on YouTube. No rose-gold microphone required. It is kind of like sneaking kale into your spaghetti sauce. Next thing you know your child is getting a healthy dose of reading time, and you are getting another cute, free concert.

3. Greeting Cards

I promise I am not a hoarder, but there are some random things I can’t seem to throw away. Every birthday, holiday, and special event I save the greeting cards people give to my kids. Molly was so excited to open up her book box and find her stack of recital, valentine, and birthday cards. She clocked in an hour of reading time, reading all of her special messages. If you have any special cards lying around, add them to your child’s reading stack. They will love it!

Not a hoarder?

4. Write Books Together

Molly loves to write stories. Most of the time she writes them, but there are days I sit beside her and type up her literary creations. If you don’t have enough reading material for your kids at home, let your child create the books they will read during reading time. Real authors are perfect writing mentors. We love Mo Willem’s Elephant and Piggie books so much that Molly just started her own similar series, Bacon and Pig. Once Molly finishes writing her stories, we type them up and add them to her “Books I Can Read” stack. Low on ink? Just let them read their own writing.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out the other reading materials in my daughter’s read-at-home book bin.

  • Pioneer Valley’s Read-At-Home Books.
  • Children’s magazines like Ranger Rick.
  • Familiar picture books we have read hundreds of times as a family.
  • High-interest informational books like her Daddy’s book about MLB ballparks.

What is she reading digitally?

  • Scholastic BOOKFLIX
  • Epic!– a digital library of over 40,000 books that readers love. Educators and parents can sign up for a free access.
  • Pioneer Valley Digital-at-Home Books- Parents and teachers can sign up here and set up leveled book rooms for their readers at a really reasonable price.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Desperate for books? We must get creative. If we think outside-the-box, there are endless reading possibilities tucked inside our homes.

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