Updated: Nov 30, 2020
Want your child to read more? Read on!
As a child, I was a huge fan of books. I still am as an adult. However, in today's world, many children are distracted by so many things, that reading books slips to the bottom of the list. If your child isn't an avid page turner, let me share a few tips with you on how to encourage them to grab a book and sit still for a while.
Believe me, it's easier than you think.
1. Set a good example
Kids love to do what their parents are doing. They copy things they see. So why not give them a good example. Put down your phone or tablet and read a few times a week. Tell them how you can't wait to continue the story and most importantly, make sure they see you reading.
2. Treat books with respect
Keep them on a nice shelf, don't throw them around. Tell your children if you really like a certain book, why you like the cover, why you still love how a book feels.
3. Visit bookstores
It's all about introducing it into your lives. Are you out with the kids doing shopping or on your way back from school? Every now and then, pop into a bookstore on your way. There are so many, you'd be surprised. And there are super sweet ones that can really impress children and make them feel like they are in a magical place.
4. Keep a book in your bag
Stuck in traffic or waiting for the bus? Waiting takes up more time than you think. The easiest solution is letting your child play with your phone. But what if you whipped out their favourite book and one for yourself too (if you're not driving)? This way the example is there and you can both enjoy a few pages.
5. Talk about books
Anything and everything related to books. Why you love them, how they make you feel, who your favourite characters were when you were a child. How reading gave you new friends and worlds to discover. Just keep it natural, don't sweat it.
6. Read to your children (not just before bed)
There are so many other times when you can read to them. In the park, during a bath, while they're having breakfast (maybe weekends are better for this), just use your imagination. Get them interested in books before they can read by themselves.
7. Let them choose
Just because you liked an author when your were young, doesn't mean your child will automatically have the same taste. Let them find what they like and choose their own favourites. Encourage them to show you what they like to read.
8. Go outside
Link reading to outdoors too. Go to the beach, the park, for a picnic or have a hammock hung up between two trees and show your children how many places you can take a book to enjoy it.
9. It doesn't have to be expensive
It can be, but it doesn't have to be. There are so many books to choose from, they don't always have to be new. There are second hand bookstores, or the library for an extremely low membership fee. As a child, I was so proud to get my first library card. It held so much magic and opened up new worlds in every book I got to read. Turn the first trip to the library into a special occasion and you can be sure, they will return with love.
10. Set up a reading corner at home
Reading corners can be cosy and comforting. Just sitting there, in an armchair with cushions and books surrounding you is enough to make anyone calm. It can be a quiet place, where your child can unwind, so why not have one?