Reading with LeapFrog: Flipping the Reluctant Reader Switch (Giveaway)

Thank you to LeapFrog for sponsoring this post. For more information about LeapFrog Reading Month, please visit their site

It is no secret that I am a total bookworm. I’m such a literature lover that I devoted my early professional career to the teaching of reading and writing. (I have the dusty Master’s Degree to prove it.)  I love books and my kids (mostly) do to. The oldest is exactly like me, she reads a few books a week and gets so heavily invested that she misses the characters when the book is finished. (What? Books are our friends. Don’t judge!) My boys are a little more reluctant. They are fine readers, but it is not their first choice of activities. Which is why I’m a LeapFrog lover. We’ve used LeapFrog products in this house to encourage my boys to read through play. No matter the product, it’s worked every time.

Make It Interactive and My Kids are Hooked.

Make It Interactive and My Kids are Hooked.

As a literacy educator, I am well read (no pun intended) in the area of reading fluency and comprehension and I know that one of the best ways to encourage both is by reading un-interrupted at least 20-30 minutes a day. I have been reading to my kids since they were old enough to open their eyes. I even used those early days to do some early reading education with them. We tracked words and I talked aloud about strategies for decoding and comprehension as I read, modeling all the time. I  was pretty confident in the job I did (at least with the first two-poor youngest child!) laying a firm foundation for literacy with my kids.

But now that they’re older, I don’t want to push them so much that reading stops being fun. Trying to find that balance though, between encouraging them academically and keeping reading enjoyable, can be tricky business. So far, we’ve used reading before bedtime as our strategy to encourage time with books. This month, we haven’t even had to ask because the kids are engaged in school-wide IditaRead contest so they are tracking their minutes and pages with a vigor I rarely see.  It’s been fun to see and hope it continues even after the contest is over. At least I know they’ll continue to get their 30 minutes in before bed. After all, what kid chooses to push up bedtime? Not ones with a tricky, reader-mom!

When You Can Hook Your Big Brother in, That's a Bonus!

When You Can Hook Your Big Brother in, That’s a Bonus!

UPDATE:Congrats to Mallorie-the winner of the LeapFrog package! 

I get the fortune of helping you celebrate reading month but offering one LeapFrog Prize pack to a lucky commenter. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below (not on FB, here on this page) about your favorite children’s book. Then, I’ll pick a winner TOMORROW and you’ll get a prize pack for the Tag System that includes: Tag Leap and the Lost Dinosaur, Tag Get Ready for Kindergarten, Tag Junior Toddler Milestones, Tag Junior Animals Around the World. Approximate value of prize pack items is $50. So leave a comment for something even the most reluctant of readers can’t say no to.

I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective but content and opinions expressed here are my own. To take the LeapFrog Reading Month pledge, please visit their Facebook page. #LFReadingMonth #spon For a discount on LeapFrog products, just click.

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  1. says

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks,
    However I am having troubles with your RSS.
    I don’t understand why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody else having similar RSS issues? Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  2. Alison key says

    My favorite book to read with my daughter is still Goodnight Moon. We started with it when she was an infant. With her at 3 yrs now, she’ll go a few months without looking at it, but when we pull it out, she will always fill in for the quiet old women whispering hush.

  3. ODroggitis says

    Glad to know that they have these tech aids to help children with reading. My daughter, who is dyslexic , is already worried about reading to her children. She does read everyday however her daughter is still young. I will check out these products. I read to her every time I am with her and she likes to turn the pages even at this young age. My favorite books my mom read to me were the Madeline books.

  4. Julia Evans says

    Too many to choose from! For the littler ones I love Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae, Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermott, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, anything by Leo Leoni, and probably this households all time fave – The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch. My 6 year old loves the Ivy and Bean series, which has made me laugh out loud when I’ve read parts aloud to her. My 8 year old has been thrilled with the Emily Windsnap series by Liz Kessler, the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, anything by Roald Dahl, the Wayside School series by Louis Sachar and has recently been turned on to Wendy Mass (so far has read 11 birthdays and 12 Finally). We all also love (and have them all!) the Mr Men and Beatrix Potter books. I could go on and on!!! My oldest was also one who was reluctant to read to herself solely for pleasure but I’d say it was Roald Dahl who changed that for her….

    • Cristie says

      I love PaperBag Princess!! One of my favorites. Also, Ivy and Bean. How about Clarice Bean? Have you guys read those? I used to laugh out loud at those too. Such a great list this is!

  5. Andrea says

    My absolute favorite little-kid book is Guess How Much I Love You. It’s the first thing I read to my oldest, the very day he came home from the hospital. Between the hormones and the emotional overload of finally being a mom, it’s no surprise that I got to the last page and had to choke those wonderful words out between sobs. As my kids get older I look forward to introducing them to some of my childhood favorites — Encyclopedia Brown, the Little House Books, Madeleine L’Engle, and basically anything that’s ever won the Newberry. I’ve already started buying them… mostly so I can read them all again myself!

    • Cristie says

      Oh my gosh I push Madeline L’Engle so hard-to no avail. I just keep hoping! And Guess How Much…? Man, I still cry and mine are grown!

  6. Lindsay Archibald says

    While, no one is actually ‘reading’ at this house yet, we do love Leapfrog products and have the Tag Jr and the practice writing letters magnetic board thing, I don’t know the name. George really likes Cars and Trucks and Things that Go (Richard Scarry), but so my daughter, Ellie (mostly, to find Goldbug). We have many other favorites, but that’s the all time winner around these parts. About time I commented… Sorry it took so long.

  7. Crystal D says

    Charlotte would LOVE this. As you know, all our girls are named after children’s book characters. But Madeline was the original. I knew my first girl would be Madeline after falling for all the Madeline books when I was little. I can remember going to the library and checking out the same Madeline books over and over again. We have multiple copies of Madeline books now. And I still love to read about an old house in Paris that was covered with vines.

  8. Mallorie D says

    When my niece was born, 4 years ago this month, everyone got her stuffed animals and clothes. I got her Goodnight Moon, several Dr. Seuss cardboard books, and my personal favorite- The Pokey Little Puppy (Little Golden Books). Ever since I have tried to read to her when I see her but she has been resistant- until the last two months. Here’s hoping I can turn her into the bookworm I used to be!

  9. Cathy Jarmon says

    I LOVE Leap Frog products. I give full responsibility for the Leap Frog laptop for teaching J the alphabet! (Well once I saw she was recognizing letters and knowing the letter sounds I started playing word/letter games with her, but the first time she was looking at a book and pointed out the letter R I almost fell off my chair because it never occurred to me she was old enough to learn letters. That was last Valentine’s Day) Anyway for little ones I have two favorite books and they are both by Mem Fox. One is “Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes” and the other is “Whoever You Are.” Both books basically give the same message that while we may be different and come from all different places and look different, we all really want the same things: to be loved and cared about. Love both these books. Our copy of “Whoever You Are” is soft back and boy is it worn! And no matter how many times I read “Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes” I tear up at the end!

      • Cathy Jarmon says

        : ) I have to thank Aunt Kathy for “Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes,” it was a shower present. She is probably so tired of me telling her every time I see her how the book still makes me cry at the end. “Whoever You Are” I randomly picked up at Target one day (because I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have to look in the book section if a store has one). I loved both of them a lot, but at first did not realize they were by the same author. Then one day I was reading one of them to Juliette and I realized that the author was the same. It was like a lightbulb…no wonder I loved them both.

        • Cristie says

          And people think writing kids books is silly or easy. Not so, as you’ve proved. They can tug at your heart like any good novel.