July 22, 2013

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.

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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?

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  • I’ve been reading to my daughter as part of a bed time routine since she was born – she is now 4 and still loves it. She gets very excited when she can go to the library and choose a couple to take home and we have an extensive collection at home as well. It is great quality time to spend and it helps get my daughter settled for bed.

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  • Yes we leave reading in our house.

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  • Great tips, and we have followed all of them. My son is now 15 and reading is now more equated to novels etc. for school. I’ve found this has decreased his interest in reading at home. However, I continue to buy books that I think will interest him (biographies, sporting, etc) to try and maintain his love of reading. We also lead by example. I always have a book on the go!

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  • Oh yes, we all love reading, especially before bed.

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  • Great tips. I learned to love reading when I was a small child and still love reading these days.

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  • turn off the TV, and let them play outdoors and yes, read to them every night before bed.

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  • my children also have a virtual library to use

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  • yeah age appropriate graphic novels and comics also

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  • Our house is full of books! We love reading!

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  • Great list here on how to encourage kids to read more, we love going to the library, they also have a kids weekly reading group which they love.

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  • It’s one of the greatest gifts that you can give to a child, a love of reading books. I could read before I went to school, and I’ve always loved books. You can be entertained by books, learn from them, escape from the world with them, they can be your best friend when you want to get away from the world. Libraries can be the best friend of Mums.

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  • Love the library. One of our favourite outings.

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  • I just love how much my girls enjoy reading!

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  • Thanks for sharing great article and advice to share in regards to help encourage kids to read I will try a few of these with my kids.

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  • We love reading and going to the library.

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