The joy of falling asleep to a bedtime story or snuggling after reading a favorite book together are precious moments that every parent and child should cherish. And which mom or dad doesn’t dream of their child growing up to be well-read and a book-lover? But getting there can be a challenge.
Here are 5 simple tips to get your child to love reading:
- Let Them Choose: Allowing your little one to pick the books they are attracted to gives them a sense of autonomy and they bond with the actual books themselves. The act of reading those same books and enjoying their contents will follow almost naturally. Teach them to explore the book from cover to cover, smell the pages, feel the edges and see all the pictures before making a decision. Guide but don’t make the selection for them.
- Let Them Read Aloud: Kids have short attention spans and even the most animated parent cannot always hold them captive for long. Giving them a chance to read the stories aloud with a little help from you can be a great way to teach them a bit of dramatization, correct their pronunciation for new or difficult words, and guide them on phonetics. It keeps them engaged for longer and the onus of entertaining them is not left solely on you.
- Read With Them: Bookworms beget bookworms, so if you want your child to imbibe your love of the printed word, set a good example. Let them skim pages with you even if they don’t understand what you’re reading, or sit side by side and read your own material while they go through theirs. This works in bed, or on a cozy couch post dinner, or even at the park where you sit together on a bench and turn the pages in tandem.
- Visit The Library Together: Being surrounded by books can be a soothing feeling. Take your child to the library as often as possible and let them stroll through the aisles with a bit of discreet supervision. Explain the working and arrangement of a library in age appropriate terms. This will help them to appreciate the process of learning and education, and to see that it can be a wondrous one. Don’t rush them and encourage them to check out any book that catches their fancy.
- Throw The Rules Out The Window: Don’t bog your child down with limitations on what they can or cannot read, within reason. If they wish to rifle through a book on fractals, quantum mechanics or building airplanes, let them. A 5-year-old admiring a book on vintage crockery might be influenced to appreciate design and form from a young age while a tweenager trying to make sense of a tome on music history might be tempted to compose their own songs. You never know what magical things can happen around books. Why not find out with your little one today?