Few things give a parent as much joy as fostering a love of reading in their kids. Reading can take us to places that television, movies and video games simply cannot. The imagination is a better computer processor, a better director and a better movie camera than any computer or film can ever provide. The key to getting kids to love reading is to make it fun from an early age. Here are a few ways you can accomplish that with your kids.
Reading to your children is a great way to build fun and excitement for books. Take a half hour or so every night to read your child a story or part of a book before bed. The sound of your voice will engage them in the story. It will help to improve their attention and vocabulary and will eventually get them to explore reading on their own.
Taking it further, schedule family reading time where the whole family takes turns reading paragraphs from a book in a round-robin style. This can be loads of fun and can enhance reading and playtime.
Always Have a Book
Keep a book in your handbag, purse or knapsack wherever you go. Be ready to pull it out and read at a moment’s notice. If your child gets used to books being available at all times, they will learn to love them. They will come to view books as an escape that is always there, even when video games might not be appropriate.
Apply Books to Life
Are you taking your child on a horseback riding trip? Try reading books about horses. Are you getting a new pet? Read stories about dogs, cats or other domestic animals. Will your child be starting up in little league? Baseball stories are great! The more you can apply stories to what your child is going through in life, the more they will turn to reading when they need an escape or some perspective on what’s going on.
The Buddy System
As soon as your child starts reading on their own, read alongside them! When you see them pull out their favorite book, pull out one of your own and sit with them, reading your book while they read theirs. They will come to appreciate this quiet time together and will associate reading with feelings of comfort and safety. You can even try to schedule family reading times where everyone settles in with their favorite book for a few hours a week.
A Necessity, Not a Luxury
Make books a necessity of life. Create a need for literature in your children just like they need clothes or food. Never have bare bookshelves. Always seek recommendations for the best new books. Take time every week to head to your local library with your child. Make sure that their tablets and mobile devices have lots of e-books available.
When you’re looking to stock up your child’s e-reader or tablet and keep reading fun and exciting, take some time to check out the free books we have to offer, as well as some great mobile apps that will make reading feel as important as the food they eat!