Here are 10 ways to encourage a love of reading in children…
1. Lead by example
Children are far more likely to want to read if they see their mum and dad reading too. If when you read you share interesting little facts and amusing notes then kids can see firsthand the pleasure that reading gives. A love of books is bound to rub off on them.
2. Invest in a Library Card and use it
Stocking up on books for the school holidays is essential for our family and the library is a great place to do this. If you haven’t been to the library in a while, do your kids a favour and check out what it happening there. They have lots of extra activities especially during school holidays. Just looking at the events at our local library there is: Story book time for the littlies, craft sessions, where you can make cards, origami animals, felt puppets, Lego Literary club, tech for kids, homework help. The Library is a lot of fun; share it with your children.
3. Let your child choose the book they would like you to read.
Putting them in the driver’s seat make them feel special and involved.
4. Read to them every day
Make it fun, stop and ask questions. Make reading a shared experience. Whet their appetite first. Look through the book and look at the pictures. Ask them what they think is happening. Read the book, take your time. Your children will love spending the time with you. Make it an enjoyable experience and their love of reading will flourish.
5. Spend time teaching them to read.
Don’t just leave it up to the teachers. Follow the words along with your finger as you read them. When they come home from school with their sight words, think of novel and interesting ways to help them to learn them. Make the words out of biscuit dough and let them eat it when they have learnt the word, laminate the words and play a game of snap or memory with them; buy a set of magnetic letters and let them make the words on the fridge; make them out of play dough.
6. Give lots of praise, when your child learns a new skill like reading
Children thrive on encouragement. It makes them feel more positive about the experience. It makes our kids more confident and happy and boosts their self esteem and in turn makes them want to learn.
7. Create a little book nook in your home
Books, cushions, comfy chair, good light, bookshelf with lots of reading material. A nice, welcoming spot that they feel happy to be in.
8. Buy some age appropriate books just for them
A good starting point are books that have won awards, or books that are read on Playschool. Reading and rereading old favourites helps to build confidence and helps them to recognise certain words.
9. Let your child dictate a story for you
Write it down and read later or staple some pages together as a book and get your child to draw a story in pictures. Then go through it with them and write down what is happening in the picture. My girls have stories that they created when they were two. They absolutely treasure them today.
10. Don’t just limit it to story books
Get plays, song books, audio books. Make up a story yourself. Put on funny voices, dress up, act it out. Make them laugh and enjoy it. Have lots of fun.
A love of reading is something that your children will thank you for when they are older. It opens up another world, where they are only limited by their imagination.
Does your little one have a love of reading and a love of books? Do you think it is important to read well?