Are you tired of fighting your child on the importance of reading? Do you wish you could snuff the “I hate/can’t read” stubbornness and get them to read without having to “force” it on them? Use these five sneaky moves to brush up on your ninja skills and you can do just that. Turn your child into a reader by employing these master ninja tips:

1.      Put audio books on in the car. Listening to books is as good as reading them. This sneaky ninja move will be great for you and your reluctant reader because it is using time that would be spent traveling anyway. No extra time is taken out of your schedule or your child’s fighting over reading. Listening improves vocabulary, pronunciation, comprehension, and expands listening skills. Maybe the next time you ask for their room to be cleaned, they might do it! (Or maybe not, it is cleaning after all. Even the best ninja parenting tricks can only go so far.)

2.      Watch TV/movies together. You didn’t read that wrong. I mean it. This ninja parent move focuses on foreign films and television. Put the subtitles on and voila! Your reluctant reader is reading. This is a great way to improve reading speed and grammar. Your child will probably laugh at or mentally fix incorrect translations. Encourage your child to share these findings with you and you do the same. It’s an English lesson on the sly! There are lots of wonderful foreign films and productions easily accessible using services like Netflix or Amazon Instant Videos.

3.      Play video games with story lines. Many video games use narrative to explain what is going on during transitions in game play. Sit down with your child and pull out that controller. If the video game doesn’t read the text out loud, encourage your child to do so or your do it. Insist on having to know what is being written so you can figure out what to do next in the game. Do it even if you or your child understands what to do due to intrinsic play design. This sneaky ninja parent move in addition to reading encourages one-on-one interaction and bonding and teamwork. What kid would say “no” to video games?

4.      Go to the zoo or aquarium. Explore your local zoo or aquarium and read all the plaques on the different animals. Depending on your child, make the trip one big grand adventure. Consider making a documentary scrapbook. Go as wildlife explorers with all the gear. Bring a camera, a drawing pad, a notebook, crayons, pencil, pen, and tape (to stick interesting objects into your notebooks/drawing pads). Have your child draw or photograph the animals and write down interesting facts about them. Interview zookeepers/marine biologists and write down their responses. You’re ninja parenting will conquer reading and writing at the same time. Plus you’ll have a lot of fun doing it. When you’re done, your scrapbook will be full of great memories!

5.      Go to the museum. Pick a museum – any museum: art, science, history, etc. Pack a lunch for you and your reluctant reader and get ready to put your ninja skills to the test. Turn your museum trip into a quest with a gift shop souvenir as a prize. What you will need to do: Read up about the exhibitions beforehand and come up with a treasure map with a fill in the blank message. Then give your child a key to unlock the message. (Think National Treasure, where the little boy is running back and forth to look up particular alphabet letters in Ben Franklin’s letters to a newspaper to spell something.) All the clues should be findable on the plaques for the exhibitions. Before you know it your child will be happily reading and exploring.

What other ninja parenting moves do you have up your sleeves? Share what has worked for you!

Photo Credits: brunkfordbraun