Written by Keira Regina
Children love stories, whether they’re creating, watching or listening to them, but not every little kid enjoys reading them, as they may find it more of a chore rather than a hobby. Some research, shared by The Guardian, indicates that the motivation to read decreases in age, thus it’s important that children are surrounded by a positive home environment where parents demonstrate their support and understanding in their kids’ journey to loving literature. Though, it’s not always easy doing so with plenty of reluctant readers out there, but hopefully with the following tips, children will display more interest in books, and possibly become avid readers in the future.
Engage with your readers
In some cases, parents simply ask their kids to read a story to them before bedtime, although it’s not entirely effective since children might end up seeing this as an assignment before finally falling asleep. Reading is an experience, and Reading Rockets reminds us that not only do the children have to be enjoying the activity, but so do the adults (or at least pretend to be). Prompt your kids with questions, or take turns reading the pages. You may even want to act out the story!
Introduce reading activities outside of books
While books are the first thing we look to encourage better reading habits in our young children while they learn, there are plenty of other ways to get your kids actively reading, so get creative! In a blog post by Tootsa, primary school teacher James Ross suggests, “Put subtitles on when they watch films; comics or simple worded picture books work too. Find a format and context that works for your child.”
Take them to the bookstore
We do our best to pick out good stories in hopes of fostering an emotional attachment between the book and our kids. However, children develop their own interests, and if we always choose what they should be reading, they may feel a disconnect when it comes to reading all together. Give them the freedom to select their reading materials, regardless if it’s a magazine or comic book. They’re more likely to retain information from literature that they’ve personally chosen over a book that you handed to them, according to Lifehacker.
Include reading and writing during playtime
Developing reading and writing skills go hand in hand, so if you’re putting a fun spin on writing activities, you’re also improving their ability to read. After a day of family fun or playtime with their friends, ask your children to write about the experience and then read it aloud. This will also expand their oral language, which is another tip recommended by the National Head Start Association to promote reading for pleasure.
Feel free to share your tips on raising readers!
Keira’s fondest memories of childhood were from her parents reading her bedtime stories, as they took turns reading and acting out parts for a different adventure every night. Now a mother of two young girls, she finds creative ways to engage her little readers in hopes of passing down her love of literature.