Reading is one of the essential things children need to develop mentally and emotionally. But, unfortunately, nowadays, it’s normal for children to see books as nothing but a bore or a waste of time, as there are cartoons and video games to occupy their time. Still, as parents or guardians, we must show them that reading can be as fun and engaging as a video game.
Here are ten steps to help you get your children to enjoy reading:
First, create a reading space: A reading area can be as inviting as a toy or playroom, though it doesn’t have to be a big one. For example, a small corner with a bookshelf containing the most inviting storybooks or a corner in the playroom would do just fine. Be sure to make it stand out by painting the shelf and chairs with their favourite colours.
Read to them often: Reading doesn’t have to be limited to bedtime alone. You can pick any time of the day, especially when they’re at their most rowdy.
Tell them stories related to real-life: When selecting books for them, make sure to pick the educational ones that contain a moral lesson or two. Through this, your child can recognise the value of stories in life.
Make it as fun as possible: A little acting can do the trick here. When reading, make sure to engage them by mimicking the actions of the character. You can go as far as altering your voice to sound as the characters would.
The show, don’t tell: I know this is a common saying in writing. But it can be used in reading as well, especially for children. Be sure to place the book in front of them so they can see what you’re reading, and be sure to point out the illustration (if they’re any), so they can feel more connected to the story.
Take them to bookshops: Visit a bookshelf with your children and get them to choose a book of their choice.
Organize a book club: It doesn’t have to be an outdoor event; you can have it in your sitting room and collaborate with other parents to bring their children. In addition, you can add more fun segments like arts and crafts, spelling, and even playacting.
Have a library at home: Remember, children follow more of what we do than what we say. And there’s no better way to get them interested in reading than showing them you are also interested in books. Make sure they’re aware of your love for books, so much so that they’ll be curious enough to ask questions.
Ask them questions about the book after reading: Make it like a mini book discussion where you can seek your child’s thoughts and opinions on the book. This can help you determine the level of attention they paid to the story. You can also use this medium to find out what kind of books they may enjoy more than others.
Monitor their reading progress: You can do this by organising a short quiz or task them with books to read on their own every week. Be sure to prepare a reward for them for every minor achievement.
Getting a child to read is not a day’s job. You need to be as consistent and dedicated as you can. And while you are helping them become avid readers, don’t forget to take a journey into a book!