Books have always been a huge part of my life. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love reading.
Having that escape and getting lost in the pages of a great book was such a great part of my childhood. Going on adventures with these characters and becoming a part of so many different stories where anything could happen was exciting and exhilarating. Sometimes books were so hard to put down. And when I finished one, it would be on to the next, totally different adventure.
So it makes me sad when I hear so many kids don’t like reading. I just feel like they are missing out on so much.
Both of my kids are already huge bookworms. Books are all around the house. They absolutely love them.
These days books have a lot to compete with when it comes to technology.
So how can you get your kids to pick up a book and encourage them to love to read?
Ways to encourage your child to love reading
1. The earlier you can start the better
Make reading become a part of their life as soon as possible. There are heaps of books available, even for babies, like board books and bath books. Let them play with them, chew on them. Books should become familiar and a part of every day.
2. Start a routine
Choose a time of day when you are relaxed and sit together and read. Talk about the pictures. It’s also good for older kids who can already read. It’s a great way to spend some time together.
3. Try and read every day
Bedtime has always been our reading time and my son wants his book (or two, or three or more) every night.
4. Model reading
If they see you read, they are more likely to pick up a book.
5. Make reading fun
Get your kids to draw pictures or do a craft activity involving their favourite book. You can search on Pinterest for some great ideas.
6. Visit the library
Have a look at all the different kinds of books there are and see if there are some different ones they might be interested in. Sometimes libraries have different activities on, especially during school holidays. Might be worth checking out your local library to see what’s on.
7. Go to Op-Shops or second hand stores for books
When my son was little I was worried about him ruining the library books, so I looked at some op-shops and got some children’s books quite cheaply. So it wasn’t a big drama if he wrecked them (which only happened once).
8. Let books become a part of life
Have books around the house. Instead of turning on the television or tablet suggest reading for a little while. A little bit each day and it will become a part of every day life.
9. Watch the movie
If your kids are older and there is a movie of the book, watch it after reading it and talk about the differences and what they like and didn’t like. I often love both the book and movie, but the movie often misses out on so many interesting parts in the book.
10. Don’t force them to read
Reading should be encouraged, but never forced. Reading is fun, but it’s almost like there is a stigma that reading is boring. If you try and force them, they may never try.
11. Your perception
If you think books are amazing and magical, your kids will likely see them that way too. If you can’t see the magic and wonder of getting lost in a book, it’s hard to expect they will see it.
I often wish I could go back to my childhood where I spent hours a day engrossed in a book. It’s an escape from reality where anything can be possible.
Reading is awesome. It’s just a shame a lot of kids can’t see that.
Do your kids love to read? How did you encourage your child to love reading?