Getting a young child to love reading books can be one of the most daunting tasks as a parent. Read our blog article to get tips on how to introduce reading to your child early on in life.
Here are six tips to help your child love reading.
1. Let Them Read What They Want
Don’t restrict your child by forcing them to read specific genres or topics. After all, our primary objective here is to get them to enjoy reading; it’s not getting them interested in scholarly articles or Shakespearean tales. Don’t limit them by placing boundaries that may impede their developing interest in reading. A good starting point is short children’s books that are easy to read with plenty of pictures.
Let them choose reading material based on their personal interests. Even if there is no educational content behind them, let your child choose comic books or fictional stories if that’s what they are interested in reading. These books and stories will spark a deeper appreciation for storytelling more generally that will later convert into a stronger interest in other genres. As a parent, you want to facilitate the relationship your child develops with reading. By encouraging these practices, you can create positive habits at a young age.
2. Make a Memorable Experience
When it’s time for your child to select a new book, take a trip to your local library or bookstore. Let their imagination When it’s time for your child to select a new book, take a trip to your local library or bookstore. Let their imagination run wild with the untold stories behind each unique cover. They will quickly become fascinated by the endless rows of novels piled high on wooden shelves. Having them physically involved in the book selection process will ignite a spark before ever reading a single page.
3. Read Together
This open communication strengthens a child’s interest in reading and creates a safe and comfortable learning environment for them to succeed. By actively discussing the premise of a book aloud, your child will also learn how to process and retain information at a faster level; especially if your child is a struggling reader.
If your child has persistently rejected reading, try making it more of a combined activity. Either trade off reading back and forth out loud or separately read the same book as your child and then share ‘tell-backs’ after each chapter. Most children will be less hesitant if you are there to guide them along the way.
4. Practice What You Preach
Children typically develop learning and social skills through observation. When it comes to reading, a parent can be a critical role model that reinforces its importance and even its joy. Try reading books in your free time instead of turning on the TV when your child is present. If you have a positive relationship with books and your child picks up on that, chances are, they will be more willing to try it themselves, and your child’s interest in books will become stronger.
5. Provide Incentives
Some people are just more incentive-driven, and the same goes for our little learners. Whether it’s a later bedtime or an after-dinner treat, incentives can be a beneficial strategy to reward your child for behaviors that you want to encourage.
For a stronger approach, create a points system that correlates with the number of pages they’ve read. Once your child has completed a certain amount of points, they will be rewarded by choosing a fun activity for the entire family to enjoy.
6. Make the Time
Your child’s main concern is probably playtime, so don’t expect them to schedule a portion of their day for reading on their own. That’s why it’s important that you as the parent set aside time in your busy schedule to create good reading habits. Whether it’s 20 minutes before dinner or right before bed, find a stable routine that both you and your child can remember. A child doesn’t develop a love for reading overnight. It takes time, patience, and dedication for a child’s love for books to blossom into something wonderful. Start with small steps to build a solid foundation, then use that interest to develop a greater passion for reading kids books.
Do you struggle to get your child to love reading? Have you found any short stories for kids that your child has loved? Share your experiences and questions in the comment section below!