We all want our children to be avid readers. Reading is a great kids’ activity that helps expand your child’s vocabulary and ability to communicate, stimulates their curiosity, and improves their comprehension and concentration skills. Unfortunately, with a growing list of technological gadgets competing for your child’s attention, it can be hard to convince your little one to sit down with a humble book.
My eldest daughter is eight, and while she enjoys reading now it was definitely a struggle to get her to pick up a book a year ago. I realised I had allowed her to relegate reading to a “homework” task, rather than a leisure activity. She had gotten into the habit of associating reading with “work”, so I had to break that habit and get her to see it as a fun experience. The thing about reading is it should be both educational and fun!
With my second eldest, Rachael, I’ve decided to break the habit before it even forms by introducing her to fun children’s books at an early age, and encouraging her to read in her spare time. She’s only four, but I know if I get in early it will do a world of good in the long run. Here are some great tips I’ve come across to help Rachael on her literary journey!
Take your kids to the library
Once a week (while Bee is at school) I take Rachael and Jeremy to the library. The early afternoon is a perfect time, as it’s not too busy and there aren’t any school-aged kids there to intimidate my little ones. I set Jeremy up in the play corner, and let Rachael pick out a book to read. She usually reads a couple while we’re there, then picks a favourite to take home. Bee uses her school library, but occasionally I will take her to our local library to pick out a book as well. I try not to control what the kids choose, but as they get older I will try to make sure they choose more difficult books to keep challenging themselves.
Keep kids’ books in an accessible place
You know the old expression “out of sight, out of mind”? I think it was invented to describe the mindset of children. My kids forget about things when their hidden away. It’s important to make sure your children’s books are visible and easily accessible for their little arms. That way, come play time, their books will be at the front of their minds and they’ll be reading in no time! You might like to invest in a little bookcase for your kids, or set aside one of the bottoms shelves of your bookcase for their books.
Set up a reading space
Make sure your kids have a quiet and comfy place to read. Their bed or desk chair likely won’t be the best options. If you have a living area that is quiet then encourage them to read on the couch. Failing that, set up a space with cushions or a beanbag where they can go to read. If you set up a comfortable reading area, your kids won’t be able to resist! It will also help them get swept away in their imaginations and avoid distractions.
So what are you waiting for? Get your kids reading! For more ideas, visit the ActiveActivities Directory.