This idea from chickenbabies.com was originally aimed at getting kids to read throughout the summer holidays, but I think it could be a great idea all year round for rewarding unenthusiastic readers. Of course we all know that eventually reading is its own reward but even for a good reader it can be a bit of a slow-starter, so a little incentive doesn’t hurt. You could also use this idea for other school activities: some maths, homework, writing or even for chores around the house.
Each child gets given an envelope full of brightly coloured circles. The circles all have an envelope stuck on the back with a reward, or coupon inside it. These can be anything you think will motivate your children: pocket money, a comic, a film afternoon, a friend over to play, screen time, going swimming… Try to mix it up a bit so that it makes your days a bit more fun and varied too. It’s up to you whether you want to let your children know what these rewards are before they choose or leave it as a surprise but I think the luck of the draw is all part of the fun.
The children start by decorating one of the circles to be the bookworm’s head, and putting it up on the wall. When they have completed a book, they get to choose one of the circles, see what their prize is and add the circle to the bookworm’s body. You could even use different colours for different difficulties of books – perhaps something harder could get a bigger prize too.
Hopefully your children will be encouraged not just by the rewards but also by seeing how well they have done as their bookworm gets longer!