Tips for Reading with Boys : 30 Days of Reading with My Kids

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When my girls were small, reading to them was simple. They sat quietly and listened.

When the boys came along, reading became much more of a challenge. The boys would climb all over me, pull at the books and try my patience to the max.

tips for reading with boys

Over the years, it’s become a joy to read with my boys. I’ll share my best tips for reading with boys, and how to encourage a love of reading in your boys, too.

Tips for Reading with Boys

Embrace Boy Humor

My boys will tolerate stories about princesses and fairies, but only for a short period of time.

They’d rather be laughing. They love books with slapstick or potty humor, and it’s something I’ve learned to embrace as a mother.

What kind of books crack my boys up? Here are the stories that bring out the giggles in my house.

1. Frog and Toad Collection
I don’t find the stories THAT funny, but my boys laugh and laugh at the story ‘Kites’. For some reason, Frog and Toad’s antics crack my guys up.

2. Chicken Cheeks
What’s a book without potty humor? In this hysterical tale, your kids will learn all about different vocabulary terms for their derrieres. It’s guaranteed to make you giggle.

3. No, David!
David Shannon is one of my favorite authors. I’ve loved No, David! since Abigail was little.

Now that I have boys, it makes me laugh even more. I can understand David’s antics.

4. Pirates Don’t Change Diapers
One evening while Brett was in charge of storytime, I heard chuckles and then guffaws coming from the boys room. I stood outside and listened to Brett read Pirates Don’t Change Diapers.

He used pirate voices like a pro, and my children ate it up.

kids headphones

Utilize Audio Books

I’ll be talking more about how we use audio books later in this series. They’ve been an amazing resource for my children.

By listening to audio books in the car, at dinner or even at bedtime, we expose our boys to stories while they’re a captive audience.

Don’t Overlook Technology

We’ve utilized e-readers like Kindles, the Kindle app on my iPad, and the Nook. The boys also love watching Online Storytime on Barnes & Noble – they have some of our favorite books, read by the author or fun celebrities.

We also love Storyline Online, sponsored by the Screen Actors Guild. A Bad Case of the Stripes has long been a favorite of mine, and I loved seeing Sean Astin read it aloud.

Make Reading Active

It took a long time for me to get over the idea that the boys weren’t hard wired to sit completely still while listening to me read.

I’ve learned to let the boys burn off their energy during storytime. They’ve jumped on a mini-trampoline, played with Play-Dough, and splashed in the bathtub while listening to me read.

Have Male Reading Role Models

I’m blessed that my husband loves to read, and he loves to read to our children. Over the years, he’s picked up much of the slack of nightly storytimes. The boys love it, and it offers them some one on one time with their dad.

Consider Non-Fiction Books

We have a wide collection of non-fiction books in our house. My boys love reading books about dinosaurs, outer space, beach and ocean animals and more.

Some of our favorites include Fact Trackers, books that go along with the Magic Tree House series.

Do you have tips for reading with boys? Don’t forget to share them in the comments.

30 days of reading with children

Don’t forget to visit all the posts in the 30 Days of Reading with My Kids series, and drop in to visit my friends on the #30DayMom challenge!

If you sign up for email updates, you’ll get the latest posts as soon as they’re published.

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  1. Great list! We listen to a lot of audio books – it’s a great way to add in more read alouds without losing my voice!

    • I think it really has helped with my boys’ comprehension as well … they pick up on things that they might miss otherwise.

      And I agree, it gives me a break! My daughter LOVES to listen to them all.the.time — at lunch, in the car, while she’s building with LEGOs and more!

  2. My sons love reading non-fiction than fiction. Is it normal? It is very hard getting them reading story. They spend a lot of time with encyclopedia and non fiction things. Thanks for sharing.

    • Adelien – The nonfiction preference is SO normal that the Common Core is now utilizing it like crazy in the younger grades for both reading and writing curricula. My kids are about 50/50 with their preference for story v. factual books.

    • I totally agree with Betsy — my boys ADORE non fiction books …. loads of things about sea creatures, the human body, dinosaurs, you name it. They also love science documentaries, too! 🙂

      • My twin boys love non-fiction, especially almanacs, books of records, etc. and books about space, dinosaurs, biology, nature. They only really fiction if it is “boy funny”. Often the giggling makes them join each other reading the same book.

        My youngest son is more 50/50. He reads tech books, but also read nearly everything that Rick Riordan has written for his age:

  3. Those books were my girls’ favorites when they were little. 😀

  4. Pinned and am featuring at Family Fun Friday!
    It goes live Thursday afternoon:

  5. Great tips for some girls too I reckon. 🙂

    • Dayna, great to see you!

      I think they would work for girls too — my girls have been very different than my boys. They would sit pretty quietly in my lap and listen to me read, while the boys would climb over me, grab the book out of my hands and hit each other with it. AACK!

      Now, they ask me when we can go to the library!

  6. We loved Where The Wild Things Are! My older son liked anything with food in it like Little Nino’s Pizzeria.

  7. These are great tips for reading with boys.

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

  8. We always loved the Frog and Toad collection..they are so funny! It’s awesome that your husband will take to read to the kids..that is such a special time. You are blessed Dianna 🙂

  9. Reading with boys certainly has its challenges. Thanks for the great tips!
    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

  10. Thanks for linking up! We have three boys and I’m going to try out some suggestions- they just have a hard time sitting still since they are definitely all boy! Mine love adventure stories and we usually will read a chapter at a time and so they get to practice their recall, but this is still harder for the 6 year old and 3 year old, although my 9 year old loves it. I’m going to go get some of those David Shannon books- sounds so good!
    -S.L. Payne,

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