It is so important that kids develop a love of reading. It needs to be magical to them, they need to want to listen to stories and read books, to be transported to far away lands and adventures. Reading contributes a lot more to your child’s learning than the skill itself. Amongst other things, it improves their concentration and memory, it helps to develop their vocabulary, spelling and imagination and it increases their empathy. Giving your child a passion for reading is one of the greatest gifts that you can give to them, so today we want to share with you a few suggestions around how to encourage your children to be readers.
The best way to begin this journey is to ensure that your children see books as part of their life from day one. This means surrounding them with books, ensuring that they have plenty of books to choose from and reading to them from birth.
Be a role model
You know that your kids always want to copy you, to be like you. This is a good way to use that to your advantage, as if they see you reading regularly, they are likely to want to follow suit.
Show them how much you enjoy books and reading and aim to always have a book on the go. This should help your children to see reading as a normal part of life, rather than as school work or a chore.
Read to them daily
Storytime with a parent should be a safe and special time of the day, and for most children, this works well at bedtime. It’s a good idea to get into this bedtime routine from the baby days, and then it is just as important to keep at it. Many parents stop reading to their children when they are able to read independently, but research shows that your kids benefit from being read to right the way up to high school.
In addition to reading to them yourself, you could look for an audiobook kids would enjoy and they can listen to that whilst they do other quiet time activities, such as drawing or coloring.
Find the right genre
If you feel that your child is struggling to really engage with books, it might be that you still need to find the right genre for them. If you can find the books that really click with them, they are much more likely to read throughout the day and read happily each evening as they are keen to find out what happens next.
In an ideal world, your kids will read a wide range of genres as this widens their worldview and exposes them to lots of different kinds of fiction and non-fiction, but if you are just trying to get them engaging with reading, go for whatever seems to make them tick.
For example, your daughter might only want to read comics, and she does so voraciously, or perhaps your son is only interested in reading books about animals. Encourage reading of any kind and over time they will develop other interests and passions.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.