As a mother, grandmother and former early childhood educator, I’ve made it a priority to instill my love of reading on just about everyone around me. I’ve been a voracious reader since a very early age. My most favorite childhood memories were spent lost in a book. Unfortunately, not all children are as enthusiastic about reading. Fortunately, there are ways to encourage kids to read. If your child often avoids reading, try some of the following suggestions:
Leading By Reading
Personally, I’ve found this to be the most effective (and subtle) way to promote a love of books and reading. Children are like little sponges, watching and emulating people around them. Reading books, rather than sitting in front of the television or at the computer, shows children that books and reading are important to you. They’ll be much more likely to follow your lead.
Frequent Your Library
Libraries are amazing places for children to visit. The great thing about going to the library is that your child is exposed to thousands of books at one time, increasing the likelihood of stimulating his or her interest. Children are receptive to making personal choices. Therefore, they’re much more likely to read books they’ve chosen themselves.
Turn off the television, computers, cell phones and tablets, and read together. Older children can take turns reading aloud. Even young children can participate by reading from basic picture books. Make it fun by inserting funny voices and pantomime. Continuing family reading time even after your children become proficient readers continues to build bonds that last a lifetime.
Start a Book Club
This is a wonderful way to combine socialization and reading skills. Kids can invite friends. You can invite other moms and dads. Book clubs provide kids with the opportunity to discuss the books they’ve read without it sounding like the typical classroom book report assignment.
Reading Related Activities
Incorporate other reading related activities into your child’s daily routine. For example:
- Subscribe to kid’s magazines
- Print out free Book Journal Pages for your child to use
- Have kids design their own reading vision boards using poster board, markers, magazine cutouts, etc.
Inspiring a love of books and reading is a process that begins in very early childhood and continues well beyond the teen years. These are just some of the ways parents and caregivers can encourage reading in children. What are some of yours?
Susan Barton is an author, artist, blogger, former early childhood educator, and professional copywriter and marketer. Readers can find out more about Susan and connect with her via her About.Me page