Authors, publishers and parents are all facing the same struggle: getting children to read. It seems that as technology becomes more widespread, all their time is taken up with games and messaging services and the inclination to sit down with a book slips further away. Reading has been shown to have amazing benefits for children. It helps improve memory, concentration, imagination and empathy and introduces children to many new ideas and parts of the world. Unfortunately, there are an increasing amount of distractions and as a parent, it’s hard to push reading onto a child without making it seem like a chore. However, parents shouldn’t give up! Children have loved reading for centuries and your children can too!
A library can be an exciting adventure for a child. A trip to the library can be set up as an exciting activity or even a reward for good behaviour. Not only is it a great activity to do together, it’s also free! Letting them wander around before choosing one or two books is a great way to get them introduced to the place and all the services it offers. As you and your child become library regulars, you’ll get to know the librarians who can offer recommendations tailored to your child and even inform you on community activities.
Children already have fully formed interests, likes and dislikes. By letting them take control and take home a book of their choosing, they are sure to be more excited to spend time reading. Parents should let their children discover books for themselves and avoid dictating what type of books a child should read or even limiting them to an age range. Whether it’s cars, space or magic, linking reading to one of their existing hobbies or interests will make reading less of a chore and you’ll find your child is much more engaged in the activity.
Children thrive with routine. By having a designated reading time everyday where you sit down together, children learn to look forward to the reading time spent with you. To make the event even more special, you could set up a cosy reading area where you both settle down to get stuck into the book. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, it’s important to not only have time to read, but to spend some quality time together and the reading habits that you cultivate now will set them up to be book lovers for life. Parents can start by reading to children and move to reading with children. Experiencing your child’s progress in reading by sharing stories everyday will make for precious memories for both of you.
Whether you’re reading to your children or are starting to read with them, there are plenty of opportunities to further interaction with the story by making it lively and funny. You and your child can take over the voices for characters and take turns emphasising any sound effects. Not only will this make reading time much more enjoyable, it also gets your child to use their imagination and connect more with the characters and storyline. Making the books come to life will convince your child that reading can be just as fun as watching TV or playing games online.
Keep your child engaged by talking about the book, the characters and the story. Before, during and after a reading session, you can check in with your child by discussing their favourite parts of the book and asking them who their favourite character is and what they think will happen next in the story. Parents should also make an effort to link a story to the real world as much as possible, connecting events or issues to scenarios and lessons you encounter in the stories. If children come across any new or difficult words in their books, parents can help reinforce their learning by deliberately including the words in everyday language.
Reading with children creates fond memories and does wonders for their brain development and function. With our selection of helpful tips, you’ll have a book enthusiast on your hands in no time.
About the author: Writing for Luckyassignments.com, Ashley Halsey is also a mother of two children and enjoys travelling, attending business courses and reading.