I Pay My Kids to Read

This is not click-bait, I really do pay my kids to read.

For a long time, before bed, we had a great routine. Brush teeth, go potty, put on pjs, snuggle, read, sing songs, go to bed.

Somehow we lost it.

2020 was a mess so we can blame that. I realized we hadn’t read books before bed in forever and I immediately wanted to get this back into our routine. I also knew that taking screens out of the equation was going to be an issue. So, I did what every wonderful, creative, inventive mother does, I had to sweeten the deal . . . so I bribed them.

A woman reading to her kids
Would you pay your kids to read?

I sat them down and told them the new fun plan!

Every night, before bed, we were going to start reading our awesome books. I talked about how fun it was going to be to do this together and that I was going to start letting them earn some money with each book they read. I decided on 25-cents a book and they each could pick two books to read before bed so they could earn $1 a day. Then, they can take that money and save it up to go towards whatever they want!

We talked about how they could get ice cream, a new toy, a puzzle or even save it for a big item like an overnight hotel stay to go swimming in the pool! They were so excited! They wanted know how many books or days it would take to earn enough money for things and we looked that up together to get them motivated.

We’ve been doing this for a couple months now and the kids have purchased ice cream, toys, puzzles, and books with their book money. It really worked!

I track the money on my phone and most nights they don’t even ask about watching anything and they pick out their books without being reminded. We even recently finished our local library’s reading challenge in no time and received hot cocoa and mugs as a reward.

Would you pay your kids to read?




Megan, an Iowa native from West Branch, shares her home with husband Cody, their three kids (Charlie-8 Gwen-6 & Ben-2) and 2 dogs (Dottie- lab-basset mix & Ham-all basset). When she is not smooching on them she is trying to change lives as a social worker, taking walks around their Iowa City neighborhood or cruising in Rita her minivan looking to score deals at local thrift stores. Check our her finds on her Instagram page @megthethriftingqueen.


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