I have only developed a love of reading as an adult but wish I had been into it as a kid. Now I have kids, I am really keen to develop a lifetime love of reading in them.
Not only do I think reading is the foundation of learning but to really enjoy a book is a gift.
It can be relaxing, expand your imaginations and increase your knowledge. Better still, it requires no electricity and can be done practically anywhere! haha
We can encourage our kids to read and enjoy books in simple ways.
It all starts with sharing a book…
Make the storytelling part interesting
Set aside time to read to your kids even when they’re capable to read the text themselves. Children love to hear a story read aloud. Try reading with different voices, lots of expression, invented sound effects and funny faces. Change the tone and volume in your voice often throughout the book. Most of all have fun and enjoy it. (If it is a relatively short book, it is a good idea to practice reading the book before sharing it).
Engage them in the book
After you’ve read the book take the time to ask your child which parts they liked or didn’t, what they found exciting, funny or even weird. This will help them think more about the book and also in the early stages, make sure they have comprehended what you have just read.
Get comfortable and prioritise it
A simple one, but when reading together settle in and make sure everyone’s comfortable. When kids are comfy they are likely to stay and listen for longer. It is also good to be away from interruptions and distractions. Making reading together a part of your daily routine will help to ensure it happens.
Choose a variety of books
Give your child the chance to choose a book to read. Try and get books that match your child’s interests – it could be books about sport, horse-riding, ballet, fishing etc. Also pick different styles of books – adventure books, humorous books, problem-solving books, factual books, sci-fi books, poetry books and even autobiographies. It is good to read both fiction and non-fiction books to your kids.
Good books subtly teach your kids things while still telling a great story.
Give books as presents
I like to give my kids a book as part of their presents for birthday and Christmas. I think it reinforces that books are special and important. I hope that they will be able to cherish their books and start building a collection of their own.
Most importantly – read books yourself
Monkey see, monkey do. If your kids see you reading for enjoyment and a way of relaxing, they will be more inclined to do the same. So let the kids see you enjoying reading books, magazines, newspapers, brochures on your next holiday destination – anything!