Children might be the perfect little angels but there are always areas of improvement that need time and effort. This thought process follows the idea of “…but it’s good for them!” and it could also be something you’d want them to develop and hold on to for life. For instance, reading. And reading better, more specifically. Because without reading, kids wouldn’t be able to fulfill their urge to learn.
In fact, given the amount of distraction the younger lot faces today, if your child picks up a book instead of an electronic device, consider yourself lucky. But even if that isn’t the case, things aren’t that bad. You can always nudge them towards reading. The trick is in making them aware of the benefits of reading. The overall aim is to not only improve every child’s reading skills but also help them enjoy the process of learning and comprehension.
And on that note, here’s what you, as a parent, can do to encourage your child to read –
Audiobooks can work
While you are driving, kids in the backseat get easily bored. One way to keep them engaged is by playing audiobooks (featuring popular children’s books). This approach will subconsciously make them aware of how reading helps communicate better. Also, the stories will keep them entertained during the drive. We may not be dealing with an actual book here but it’s a good start.
Let’s visit a bookstore
Although we fully understand the necessity of technological advancements, it’d be nice if you could help your child recreate the joy of losing oneself in countless aisles of a bookstore. That would be like gifting a piece of your childhood to your kids. Show them the books you read as a kid. If you didn’t, find books that you think they might enjoy – books with pictures, pop-up art, etc. This might ignite a long-lasting interest in literature in your little ones.
Cinema to the rescue
There is no cinema without books and that’s the reason why we must encourage children to watch screen adaptations of children’s books. This is an important exercise in imagination as the kids get to see the physical transformation of characters from pages onto the screen. After all, there are hardly any children’s books (worth their salt) that haven’t been turned into movies. From Mary Poppins to Harry Potter to The Jungle Book – it’s a great way of introducing wonderful stories to your kids. Read the books together and then watch the movies for visual effects.
Build a home library
Having a kindle is a good idea thanks to its convenience but it’s always advisable to keep books handy. Perhaps you can set up space in your home for a small library and a designated spot to read the books at. We’d suggest you spend time in this space by sitting there yourself with your kids. Share books, read clearly, talk about them, and immerse yourselves in everything the books have to give.
Set separate time
Just like you have set time for waking up the kids and putting them to bed, set a separate amount of time for reading purposes. This could be a weekly/weekend affair and strictly followed by the little ones. During this time, the whole family spends time reading together in silence (for the most part). You can read your favorite books and the kids can read their favorite books. Bonus tip: Read out your favorite lines from your favorite books aloud so the kids pick up the habit of appreciating a good sentence.
How about a gift?
Books are gifts that keep on giving. If there is one gift idea that never gets old, then it has to book. Start them young and carefully pick out books that fit their age, interest, and personality. Help them develop a sense of value toward books. Without the love for books, there will be no love for reading – regardless of how interesting an electronic gadget/device is. So, gifting might be a healthy idea to go with.