Children who read at home usually perform better at school so it makes sense to foster an early love of books. Here are some practical tips.
It is an ideal time to encourage the joy of reading. Many of us cherish our childhood memories of the books we loved – in my case the gruesome tales of Roald Dahl and the boarding school stories of Enid Blyton. Reading for pleasure can open up a world of adventure and also improve literacy and school results. In this age of computer games and social networking, children have many other distractions but here are 5 practical ways to encourage them to pick up a book.
Regularly reading to a child at bedtime make books an essential part of a child’s life. Carers can embrace the creative delights of doing different character voices and children can enjoy the relaxing routine of a book at bedtime. If parents do not have time to do this every night then an alternative back up plan is an audiobook. As a child gets older (and into adulthood) this habit of bedtime books will hopefully continue through independent reading.
Visit Your Local Public Library.
Although it is lovely to build a personal library of much loved stories, books can be expensive, so this is not always financially possible. Public libraries are the ideal free solution for regularly stocking up on books and audio CDs. These days, many also provide access to e-books. Children usually love choosing their own books in the library and library staff will always have plenty of suggestions for different age groups. In addition, there are often free storytelling sessions and reading initiatives for children such as the Summer Reading Challenge.
Exploit a Child’s Interests.
Everybody has her own interests and this is particularly evident in the choice of reading material. To encourage reading, particularly amongst the reluctant, it is helpful to utilize a child’s interests. Whether the passion is for football, fashion, or fish, there is bound to be a relevant book. Books need not be fictional, and reading for pleasure does not necessarily have to mean traditional books (think football programs, comic books, magazines, etc).
Use Film and TV for Inspiration.
Often films and television programs originate from books and comics, for example, the Harry Potter franchise of films which derive from J K Rowling’s seven books. If a child enjoys watching a particular program, film or cartoon, it is useful to direct her to the original source material. Many television programs, such as Dr. Who, will also have spin-off books such as annuals.
Encourage Your Kids Learn a New Language
It is great to have bilingual kids and you can do this by encouraging them to learn a new language. This will encourage them to learn a new language. It will persuade them to read the books in that new language.
Join a Reading Group.
Schools and public libraries often run book groups for children or young people. These groups often have themed events and activities such as author readings which help to foster a joy of books, and, dare I say, make reading cool!