The ability to read is one of the precious abilities a person can give a child. But in this day and age, getting a child excited about reading can be a much harder task. With technology being practically omnipresent in our lives, children always expect to be able to play video games or watch videos online. This blog will offer five tips to overcome these obstacles and instill a love of reading in your child.
Set Specific Times
In order to really encourage a love of reading, you need to be doing it every day. By building reading into their daily routine, it will first become an activity your child will expect, before eventually growing into a natural habit.
Most parents will read to their children at bedtime, but ideally, you should have several different times a day set aside for reading. Reading a story as soon as a parent comes through the door from work is one way to build excitement around the activity and make it a special bonding experience.
Engage the Child
Engaging the child is essential to ensure that they foster a love of reading, and not a love of being read to. Fortunately, there are lots of easy ways to keep a child engaged as you go along. Following the words with your finger will help them learn the basics of going left to right, up to down, and the fact that different letters mean different things.
You can also pick out keywords in the story, such as ‘elephant’ for example, and ask the child what picture to point at, or which word on the page is elephant. Let the child turn the pages, and when the story is finished, ask them what their favourite part was.
Start a Series
Every parent knows the pain of having to read the same story to their child 500 times. This is just one of the many inescapable realities of parenting, as children can become extremely attached to anything that resonates with them. You can use this to your advantage by introducing them to a series of books with a character they like. This will help keep their attention, as there will be more stories and adventures for them to go over and over, and they will be much more excited about and open to a book that stars a character they already like. It will also teach them that when you finish a book, you move on to the next one.
Engage in Other Ways
You can’t expect a child to want to read all the time, but even if they are doing other activities, you can still encourage the love of reading. For example, they could make artwork such as drawings or clay models about their favourite scenes from the book. Alternatively, you could encourage them to use their imagination and play as the characters themselves. Even video games that tie in with the book can be a good way to hold their attention and pique their interest in the material.
Use Other Material
Books aren’t the only way to encourage your child to read. Things like magazines, comic books, activity books can all be used as well. These are a good choice as they are so portable that a child can take them anywhere and simply whip them out when they are bored. They also have lots of different activities, colours, and games, so the child will be able to find something they want to do to entertain themselves, which will again cause them to associate reading with pleasure.
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