“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends: they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
~Charles W. Eliot
Teaching your child the joys of reading is a gift that will last a lifetime.Here are some ideas on how to instill a love of reading in your child:
1.Read to them-When they’re young use different voices and get excited about the book you’re sharing with them. The more fun you make it the more they’ll associate good feelings with reading. Reading to an older child will enable you to expose them to books and words that may be a little too hard for them on their own. This is great for bonding as well as increasing vocabulary.
2.Go to the library-My son could not believe we could just take whatever books we wanted for free! Also if your children know they will be spending an hour there and there’s nothing else to do but read then they quickly get used to finding a book right away so they don’t have to sit there bored.
3.Give books as gifts-Unwrapping a present is so fun and exciting! Getting a book as a gift makes books fun and exciting too!
4.Try some books on tape-This is great because it helps make the book come alive. Each character has a different voice and sometimes there are sound affects. This is good for books that are a little more advanced too because you child will hear bigger words being pronounced correctly as they are reading.
5.Read books that are about to become movies-My son read the Guardians of Ga’hoole and then we went to see the movie in the theater. He said the book was mostly the same but we discussed the differences and he felt he understood the movie better because there were so many more details in the book.
6.Let them read what they want (within reason of course)-Sometimes kids want to read comics or books well below their reading level. That’s okay as long as they’re enjoying it.
7.Figure out their interests-Find books for them that will get them excited. If they’re resistant try reading a chapter or two to them. If it’s a good book they’ll get sucked in.
8.Model-As with everything what you do your kids will copy. So pick up a good book and show your kids you value reading.
9.Unplug-Watching television is a much easier way to be entertained than reading a book so if given the choice many kids will pick television or video games. Take that choice away! It’s fine to veg out and enjoy a movie or show sometimes but if a child is exposed to loud noises and flashing lights in their face all the time a simple book that forces them to use their imagination is much less appealing.
10.Do some activities to make books fun and to extend what your child is learning. Here is just an example of some activities for Green Eggs and Ham. If you do an internet search you can find activities for many books.
11.Take it slow-if you have a child who is already turned off to reading just spend 5 minutes a day to start. Read a silly book below their reading level so they think of books as fun and easy instead of a huge undertaking. My son went through a stage where he hated reading. I told him he didn’t have to read anymore but I would continue reading to him. He eventually started to love reading again and is now an avid reader.
12.RELAX! If you’re forcing them to read and making it miserable for both of you them you’re only teaching your child that reading is not enjoyable.
What reading activities do you do with your child?
Mom of one and owner of Less Than Perfect Parents. I live in CT and spend most of my time involved in my son's school and sports all while managing my blog as a business.
Twitter and Instagram: @Tracy_Gibb