In the age of digital entertainment, it can be difficult to get kids excited about the quiet joy of reading. But don’t lose hope! Here are five easy ways to get your children to keep books in their hands!
1. Let them choose: It’s tempting to help your child pick out books to read, but children are more likely to read a book that they’ve chosen themselves. By picking the book, they’re expressing their interests and taking ownership of the decision to read that particular title. So hold off on lengthy recommendation lists and instead let your child lead the way when it comes to book selections.
2. Bring a book to life: For many children who are used to viewing stories on a screen, it can be a difficult leap to get engaged in the imagination of reading. Give them a helping hand by bringing an aspect of their chosen book to life! For example, if you’re reading the book together, act out the story with different voices for different characters. If your child is older, discuss the book over dinner.
3. Try a series: You know that moment when your child’s favorite television show ends an episode, and they just have to know what happens next? The same is true for book series! The wild success of Harry Potter is perhaps the best example of how excited children are to follow a story through multiple books, making this approach an easy way to get your child to keep reading.
4. Make a reading routine: So your child has chosen their book, you’re discussing it at dinner, and they’re hooked on a series – but you’re still not seeing them actually sit down to read each day. Here’s where making a reading routine comes in handy! Help your child pick a dedicated time to read each day, such as before bedtime, or while waiting for the bus. It can take time to make the routine stick, but once it does, your child will be reaching for their book without even realizing it.
5. Be a role model: As children develop, they model their parents’ behaviors and habits. While a teacher may instruct a child to read, actually seeing their parents read can be more a more effective motivator. The more often a child sees a book in your hands, the more likely they are to have one in theirs.
Every child is different, so don’t be afraid to try multiple approaches until you find what works best. It can take time, but getting your child hooked on reading is always worth the effort!
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