When children love to read – a world of opportunities opens up at their fingertips. For example, it could help them to hone their creativity and ignite their imagination, provide them with an emotional outlet, or aid their academic development. After all, a recent study found that children who read books daily score higher on school tests.
However, in an era where children are more enamored by posting tiktoks, it can be hard to help them fall in love with reading – despite the many proven benefits of reading from a young age or the fact that it can be a lot of fun.
With that in mind, here are some tips and tricks you can use to help your children love reading from an early age.
Use reading tools. Learning to read can present a serious challenge for many children – and while we all learn at our own pace, there are plenty of reading tools and resources you can use to help them during this time. For example, LeapFrog offers both the LeapStart and LeapReader systems, which are designed to help children develop reading skills through interactive play, such as games and songs. To determine which system is better for your child, check out this LeapStart vs LeapReader guide.
Help them find the right book. Sometimes, the only thing it takes to help your child fall in love with the written word is a single story. To put it simply, the right book can inspire them and ignite their inner bookworm. As a result, if they don’t seem all that into the books you’re giving them – work to find them something they really enjoy. Try to align their books with their interests, whether that be magic or basketball. Alternatively, you could have them fill in a story finder quiz for some tailored recommendations.
Read together. Reading together is another great way to help your children fall in love with reading. This is because it also becomes a bonding activity, allowing you to spend quality time with each other. It also means they feel supported as they try a new skill. , you should take turns reading out loud to each other, as “listening to others read develops key understanding and skills, such as an appreciation for how a story is written and familiarity with book conventions”.
Ask them questions about what they are reading. Part of the joy associated with discovering a good book is being able to share it with others. After all, that’s how stories become popular! However, asking your children questions about what they are reading is a great way to help them feel more excited about books. Be sure to ask them questions that require thoughtful, considered answers. For example, instead of simply asking them for the title of the book, ask them which character is their favorite and why, or what they think is going to happen in the next chapter. This will encourage them to really pay attention when reading, as opposed to simply skimming over the words. As a result, they’ll gain a greater appreciation for storytelling and the written word.
Take the pressure off them. According to recent studies, “60% of young people feel unable to cope due to pressure to succeed.” This is hardly surprising when you consider how much we expect from young people today – they’ve got to deal with school, build friendships, and stay on top of any extracurriculars they participate in. Many also feel as though they’re playing catch-up after the COVID-19 pandemic and virtual learning. As a result, forcing your child to sit and read each day won’t make things better – and may even lead to them hating reading. Instead, take the pressure off them and allow them to read at their own leisure and when they feel as though they have the time to do so.
Lead by example. One of the most important parenting lessons you will learn is that children will always mirror the behaviors of their parents. As a result, it’s crucial that you lead by example when it comes to reading. For example, it’ll be hard for you to convince them to pick up a book if they never see you doing so – the same way in which it’s hard to get them to eat healthy if they don’t see you eat any vegetables. As such, you should ensure you read as much as possible and discuss this with your children. Alternatively, you could set aside some time each week to read as a family.