Teaching your kids to read is an important milestone for their development. If you want your kids to grow up to be avid readers, it’s not enough to leave it to their schools. You have to find ways to nurture their love of books and passion for reading at an early age. If you have young kids, this is the perfect time to work to develop reading habits. Here are some ways to do that.
Lead by Example
Kids who grow up watching their parents read are more likely to develop reading habits and become readers themselves. Like with other habits, your kids will imitate whatever it is that you are doing, so always make sure they see you with a book in your hand. You can even invite them to ‘read’ with you just so they can warm up to the idea of sitting still while holding a book.
Surround Them with Books
Dedicate a special corner in your kid’s room to reading. Fill it with books and add a comfy chair to encourage them to hang out in that special nook. Whenever they complain that they are bored or can’t sleep at night, encourage them to spend some time with their books. This is an important lesson for them to learn that reading is a fun activity that is available at all times. If your kid is more into digital learning, according to this article, you can find specialized reading apps to help you develop reading habits in your kids’ love for reading without using physical books. These programs come with a full list of instructions on how you can use them to get the best results. Incorporating interactive games will make the process more enjoyable for the kids and easier for you to follow up.
Make Reading Part of Your Quality Time Together
Like most people, you probably dedicate some time every day to spend quality time with your kids. One way to make your kids love reading is to make it part of your quality time together. It doesn’t always have to be a bedtime story when you tuck them in. If you are used to spending a couple of hours on weekend mornings with your kid, you can grab a book and practice reading skills. However, don’t turn it into an assignment, so your kids don’t feel like reading is taking away from your time together. Be flexible and let your kids understand that it’s not the main reason you are hanging out with them on a Sunday morning.
Gift Them with Books
Let your kids see that books make for great gifts. Instead of buying them more toys for their birthdays, have them pick a book or two. You can also teach them to give books to others when they are invited to their friends’ birthday parties.
Take Your Kids to the Library
Make weekly visits to the library and have your kids hang out there even if they won’t be reading all the time. Before leaving, let them borrow a few books that they find interesting. You can also register them as members at your local library so that they can attend storytelling events and competitions that the library organizes throughout the year.
Talk About What Your Kids Are Reading
When you are out with friends or have guests over, make it a point to mention what your kid is reading in front of them, and sense your pride. When they hear you praising them for their reading abilities, they will become even more attached to it and want to upkeep this habit.
Encourage Your Kids to Look Up Information
If you are a parent, then you know how much kids love to ask questions. To give yourself a break from the million whys a day and help your kids make reading a habit, encourage them to pick up a book and look for answers on their own. Even if your kids still can’t read, walk them through the process of how they can find answers in books. This way, they will understand the relationship between reading and real-life and that reading isn’t just about fantasy and talking animals.
Take Your Kids to Watch Movies Based on Books
As a way to challenge your kids to finish more difficult books, promise to take them to watch the movie after they are done as a reward. Before taking your kids to watch Harry Potter or The Chronicles of Narnia, let them read the books first. Later you can have conversations about what they thought were the differences between the book and the movie. Having such interesting conversations will let your kids become even more drawn to reading the books at first.
Helping your kids develop their love of reading is almost like giving them a companion for life. Furthermore, they will be more adept at learning and processing new information when they develop a passion for reading at an early age. Use the tips above to help your kids enjoy reading and continue to do so as they grow older.