But, what if you have a reader who is more reluctant?
I didn't learn to walk until I was 14 months. Fat and happy, I was content to lie on my back in my crib and watch the world go by. Two of my daughters were the same. Zac was a very late talker (he had a trauma at nine months of age that delayed some of his milestones significantly). By the time he did begin to talk, I had developed some pretty bad habits of assuming what he needed or straight-up talking for him. The speech therapist would remind me not to make it so easy for him. By handing children things without asking, they have no need to talk. By carrying children, they have no need to walk.
So, I was thinking about how to apply this to reluctant readers. I'm NOT, of course, talking about making things hard for children who have learning disabilities, just like the amount we push/encourage our children to walk and talk has to be reasonable for them developmentally. I'm talking about children who are capable but aren't reading because they have no need to. How can we create an honest need?
Leaving notes around the house could be one way.
What if the note said what you were allowed to choose from for breakfast? What if the note said what time the family board game night was beginning?
What if the note had a joke on it?
I don't know if this is going to happen when Zac learns to read but, just in case, I'd like to start collecting some kid-friendly and easy to read jokes.
Happy, as always, to have contributions to the list!!!!
Why do fish swim in salt water?
Because pepper makes them sneeze.
When is a car not a car?
When it turns into a driveway.
What room has no doors or windows?
Why was 6 afraid of 7?
Because 7, 8, 9.
What falls in winter but never gets hurt?
Why can't your nose be 12 inches long?
Because then it would be a foot.
What do you call a fly without wings?
What do you call cheese that doesn't belong to you?
Who's the queen of the office supplies?
How do you stop an astronaut's baby from crying?
What are the strongest days of the week?
Saturday and Sunday. All the rest are weak days.
What building in Honolulu has the most stories?
The public library.
What musical instrument is found in the bathroom?
A tuba toothpaste.
What did the big flower say to the little flower?
Why is the letter A the most like a flower?
Because the B is after it.
Why couldn't the two feet get along?
Because they both thought they were right.
What do you call a rock that doesn't go to school?
A skipping stone.
What month of the year has 28 days?
All of them.
What can you break even if you never pick it up or touch it?
What can you keep after giving it to someone?
What has branches but no fruit, trunk, or leaves?
What can you hold in your left hand but never in your right?
Your right elbow.
What has a neck but no head?
What has an eye but cannot see?
What gets bigger the more you take away from it?
What stays in the corner yet can travel all over the world?
What comes down but never goes up?
What has teeth but cannot eat?
What flies without wings and cries without eyes?
What ball can be rolled but never bounced or thrown?
What has one head, one foot, and four legs?
What has a spine but no bones?
Why does Humpty Dumpty love autumn?
Because he always has a great fall.
Why are skeletons so lonely?
Because they have no body.
What word is always spelled wrong in the dictionary?
Where does today come before yesterday?
What invention lets you look right through a wall?
What can't be put in a saucepan?
What has many needles but doesn't sew?
A Christmas tree.
What is cut on a table but is never eaten?
A deck of cards.
What runs all around a backyard yet never moves?
What has a thumb and four fingers, but is not a hand?
What has a bottom at the top?
What has a bow but can't be tied?
What gives milk and has a horn but is not a cow?
A milk truck.
What can run but not walk?
What loses its head in the morning and regains it at night?
What has a head and a tail but no arms or legs?
What gets smaller every time you take a bath?
What is the best day to go to the beach?
How do you make a fire with two sticks?
Make sure they are a match.
What is a balloon's least favorite type of music?
Why were they called the Dark Ages?
Because there were lots of knights.
What five letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?
What is the end of everything?
The letter G.
Who could shave six times a day and still have a beard?
What has one eye but can't see?
Where can you always find a tiger's head?
A few feet from its tail.
What can you catch but never throw?
What animal is best at hitting a baseball?
What is tall when it's young and short when it's old?
What dies when it has a drink of water?
What cannot speak and cannot hear but always tells the truth?
What do you see once in a year, twice in a week, but never in a day?
The letter E.
What can you make but not see?
Who always goes to bed with shoes on?
What starts with E and ends with E but has only one letter?
What wood is not straight, not crooked, and not hard?
What is black when you get it, red when you use it, and white when you're done with it?
What's more amazing than a talking llama?
A spelling bee.
You know what's odd?
Every other number.
How do pickles enjoy a day out?
They relish it.
How do you make seven an even number?
Remove the "s."
Why did the two fours not want any dinner?
Because they already eight.
What did the triangle say to the circle?
What did the boy mushroom say to the girl mushroom?
Go out with me... I'm a fun guy.
What has 88 keys but can't open a single door?
What becomes white when it's dirty?
What's as small as a mouse but guards a house like a lion?
What do you call two banana peels?
Why did the tomato blush?
Because it saw the salad dressing.
How do you fix a cracked jack-o-lantern?
Give it a pumpkin patch.
What fruit do scarecrows love the most?
What room does a ghost never use?
The living room.
What is a vampire's favorite fruit?
A blood orange.
Why don't dinosaurs eat clowns?
Because they taste funny.
What kind of pillar can't hold up a building?
What kind of key can never unlock a door?
What goes tick-tock and woof-woof?
How do you make a jellyfish laugh?
Why did they quit giving tests at the zoo?
Because it was full of cheetahs.
Why couldn't the pony sing a lullaby?
Because she was a little hoarse.
What do you call a fish without an eye?
How many South Americans does it take to change a lightbulb?
What goes up and down but doesn't move?
What coat can only be put on wet?
A coat of paint.
What gets sharper the more it is used?
Why couldn't the pirate play cards?
Because he was sitting on the deck.
What time do ducks wake up?
At the quack of dawn.
What do elves make sandwiches with?
What washes up on very small beaches?
What kind of tree fits in your hand?
A palm tree.
What’s the best thing to put into a pie?
Which side of the horse has the most hair?
Why are ghosts bad liars?
You can see right through them.
How does a frog feel when he breaks his foot?
What has no fingers but many rings?
What time is it when the clock strikes 13?
Time to get a new clock.
What do you call a sleeping bull?
A bull dozer.
What do you call a bear with no ears?
What's worse than finding a worm in your apple?
Finding half a worm.
What kind of bird works at a construction site?
Can a kangaroo jump higher than a house?
Yes — houses can’t jump.
What’s red and bad for your teeth?
Why did the bald man throw away his keys?
Because he had lost his locks.
What color socks do bears wear?
None. They prefer bare feet.
What does a clock do when it's hungry?
It goes back four seconds.
How do snails fight?
They slug it out.
What kind of shoes do frogs wear?
Open toad sandals.
What's the strongest creature in the sea?
What did the doctor prescribe to the sick lemon?
What fruit never ever wants to be alone?
Why can’t you tell a window a joke?
It could crack up.
What did one plate say to the other?
Lunch is on me.
What do you call an old snowman?
What do you call a cow with no legs?
Why do bees have sticky hair?
Because they use honeycombs.
What has four wheels and flies?
A garbage truck.
Why did the math book look so sad?
Because it had so many problems.
What happened to the guy who got hit in the head with a soda can?
He was okay. It was a soft drink.
How do you fix a broken tomato?
With tomato paste.
What did the zero say to the eight?
Where do fish keep their money?
In the river bank.
What is brown and sticky?
What is the worst vegetable to have on a ship?
What gets wetter the more it dries?
What tells the time but needs no winding?
What has to be broken before you can use it?
What has hands but doesn't clap?
What is so fragile that saying its name breaks it?
What goes up but never comes back down?
What is orange and sounds like a parrot?
What is easy to get into but hard to get out of?
What is full of holes but still holds water?
What has a neck but no head?
What belongs to you but is used more by others?
What asks no questions but requires many answers?
Why is there no danger of starving in a desert?
Because of the sandwiches under your feet.
How far is it from March to June?
A single spring.
With what two animals do most people go to bed?
When is a bump like a hat?
When it is felt.
When is a door not a door.
When it is ajar.
What is always in front of you but you will never see it?
How do you make the number one disappear?
Add the letter "g."
If you threw a white stone into the Red Sea, what would it become?
What does a cat have that no other animal has?
What tastes better than it smells?
Why do you never see blue whales hiding in trees?
They’re very good at it.
These are very funny but will only work for a certain audience:
What do vegan zombies eat?
Why can't you give Elsa a balloon?
Because she will let it go.
Why shouldn't you argue with a decimal?
Because decimals always have a point.
Why should you not talk to pi?
Because it will go on forever.
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