15-min. ideas, Boys, Reading theory, Research

Reading the paper on the floor

Life imitates blog.

Having recently reminded myself what boys like (in terms of their reading material), I’ve been on the lookout for something to encourage my son to read during these busy summer days.

This afternoon, I found it. The Toronto Star newspaper ran a great story on what Toronto was like in the pioneer days.

The article had everything boys like:
1) Short info-bites
2) Pictures corresponding to each info-bite.
3) It was about history.
4) It was factual.
5) Gross stuff – “Diapering: Women used moss, which could be discarded, tucked inside a swaddling cloth.”
6) Violence (sort of) – and this was my son’s favourite part – “Cooking: Women tested the temperature of the oven by rolling up a sleeve, inserting an arm all the way in and counting. If they had to withdraw their arm by the count of 10, the oven was the right temperature…”
7) Physicality. I put the paper on the floor, and he read it there. Plus, he got to wrestle the cat, who was trying to lie on the paper.

After he read the article, we talked a bit about it. And then I tossed the comics page down to him to encourage him to keep reading (which he did). And then he even did the Word Search.


You can do this, too. Keep your child’s preferences in mind, and when an opportunity presents itself, toss him some reading material. For boys, think: car manual; a videogame user’s guide; a map; the sports section… it’s all reading.

I’m going to be doing girls’ preferences, in upcoming posts. I’ve done some in the past, but I’m going to do more. If you have any comments about boys’ or girls’ reading preferences, please post a comment. Thanks!


  1. Mike McQueen

    I love your 7 points. Great article. Keep up the great work for kids!
    ~Mike McQueen

  2. Joyce Grant

    Well, actually Mike – they're mostly your seven points!
    Thanks again for letting me borrow some of your ideas.

  3. Interesting story you got here. It would be great to read something more about this theme. Thnx for sharing this info.
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