Reading is one of the most fundamental skills taught to children, and developing good reading habits at a young age is key. As a parent, what can you do to ensure that reading is an enjoyable activity for your children? We’ve come up with a few tips on ways you can help your child develop healthy reading habits.
Let your child pick the book
It’s no question that a child will be more interested in what they’re reading if they’re the ones who chose it. Whether it be a comic, joke-book, novel, etc. whatever your children pick will likely keep their attention if it initially attracted them. Providing them with the choice in what they want to read will encourage them to look for other materials to read that covers new topics as well.
The goal is to encourage your children to read while associating the activity with a positive experience that appeals to their terms and interests!
Make reading a bonding experience
Reading should be more than just developing skills. It’s an opportunity for parents to bond with their children. Furthermore, it’s a great way to show your children that reading is something that you enjoy as well, which will influence a similar experience for them.
Going beyond the act of reading itself, finding a book that you and your child are both interested in can be extremely beneficial. Encouraging a social interaction that comes with reading by bonding over books provides a very positive experience for them. You as a parent act as a key influencer in your child’s behaviors, and by showing that your interests align with theirs, you will encourage them to read and find other books that both of you may bond over once more.
Keep a variety of material to read
When choosing (or letting your child choose) what to read, you don’t have to be limited by reading books or books of certain genres. Allowing your child to read a variety of different reading materials will expose different styles of writing and print which will allow for them to find new interests within the world of reading.
Some great examples are magazines, e-books, comic books, graphic novels, newspapers, and other forms of media. Children are continuously learning as they grow, and providing them with a plethora of reading options to explore will keep their interest in reading. If they gravitate towards one medium, provide more reading materials from that avenue. It keeps them happy as they develop their reading skills.
Another form of media that has become popular are audiobooks. Like reading aloud, audiobooks provide the same benefits by building and enhancing literacy skills while your children use their imagination.
Read and repeat
Ever catch yourself reading the same book you love or even watching the same movie that you enjoy? Well, kids do the same exact thing with books, and it’s totally okay!
By rereading the same material, your child will learn the text and read it with more confidence as time goes on. This also helps your child potentially notice new meanings or details they overlooked during their first read, granting a better understanding of the story. This leads to an exciting and positive experience for your children that will inspire them to try different books.
In keeping with the theme of bonding over books, strike up a conversation with your child about what they just read. Ask them simple questions that will help their comprehension and understanding of the story, but also, show that you’re interested.
Ask about their opinion about the book, what they like about a certain character, what the summary of the book is, etc. A great question to ask is what they think will happen next. Children are curious, and giving them the opportunity to express that curiosity will excite them to find out what comes next.
Jot a few questions down, take notes on which they respond the most positively to, and make it a fun routine after each session that they read.
While these are just a few tips on how to make reading a positive experience for your child, there are a lot of fun and creative ways out there. Feel free to share some of your ideas and tips on our Instagram and Facebook pages with fellow parents!