10 Tips to Encourage Reading in Children
You know it’s important to read to your child and foster that love of learning in your child, but for whatever reason, you feel like your efforts are stalling. The important thing is you’re trying. With these 10 tips, you’ll get there.
- Ask Questions.
If your child is old enough to read a book, ask them questions about what they’re reading.
Since kids aren’t always the best at providing short summaries, you might have to get ready to be tied up for a while, and don’t expect the plot to make a lot of sense the way they are explaining it. Even if you feel your eyes start to glaze over from the information overload you’re sure to get, don’t let your child see that boredom.
If your child can’t read independently yet and you’re reading to them, pause every few pages to ask a question. You can ask about the main character’s expression or actions. Just make sure you ask their opinion about something because it will help keep them engaged.
- Read the Same Book As Your Older Child.
Book clubs are fun for a reason — hearing another person’s take on the book you’re reading is interesting. It can also be a bonding experience. You and your child might enjoy comparing notes about a book you’re both reading.
- Find a Variety of Age-Appropriate Reading Materials.
If you’ve been trying to get your kid hooked on reading and your attempts have been failing, you should introduce more age-appropriate books. By giving your child a lot to choose from, there’s more likely to be one that catches their eye. They just might not be interested in the ones that draw you in, and that’s ok.
But you should also make sure your child has access to age-appropriate material. If the reading level is too hard or too easy, they’ll lose interest.
- Gear the Books Toward Your Child’s Interests.
If you have an animal lover on your hands, put that passion to work by getting books that explore that interest — books about dogs, cats, or their other favorite animals.
Take your child to the library so he can look at all the animal books he wants.
- Make Reading a Priority for You Too.
Monkey see, monkey do. If your child sees you reading books or magazines when you have a spare minute, they’ll want to do the same. Just 15 minutes of your time spent on reading per day can encourage your child to develop a healthy habit.
- Don’t Rush It.
If you act like you can’t get your nightly reading session over fast enough, your child will pick up on it. It won’t matter to your child that your to-do list is a mile long, they’ll just know you’re not enjoying yourself. And if you are acting like time spent reading to them is a nuisance to you, they won’t want to do it either.
- Make It a Habit.
It’s easy to get sidelined by other things you have to do when you’re so busy. Sometimes the first thing to be ignored if you find yourself running short on time are the non-essential things like reading to your child.
But to make reading stick for your child, you need to make it a priority. Make it a habit because before long, it will become a habit for your child too.
- Don’t Stop Reading Their Favorite.
You might feel like you’ll go on a rampage if you have to read Green Eggs and Ham to your child one more time. After all, you’ve read it a hundred times already and every night your child brings that book to you again. You’ve done your time, right?
Nope. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if your child loves one book and wants to hear it over and over again, you should just suck it up and do it. It can be tedious for you, but before long you’ll miss those days of your child wanting to reread their favorite book repeatedly.
- Keep Books Handy At All Times.
It’s a good idea to stash a couple books in the diaper bag. It can give you the opportunity to fit in a little reading time whenever your child needs entertainment, such as at the doctor’s office, the babysitters, or even while in the car.
Reading doesn’t have to be so formal — it can be penciled in whenever you can make it work.
- Have Fun with It.
If you want your child to love reading, you need to show off the fun side of it. Use weird voices and lots of facial expressions to show that reading isn’t so serious. Your child will want to do it more if it gives them a chance to see your silly side.
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