“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents”
– Emilie Buchwald
Some children are just natural-born readers. Then there are others that need that little extra push towards the art. Coming from of family where ninety-nine percent of us are bookworms, I just assumed my children would love to read too. That wasn’t so.
Oh the disappointment when I realized my daughter didn’t have the book nerd gene. She didn’t automatically grab for a book and head for the nearest quiet corner to engross herself into a story. Reading isn’t something that I feel is an option in life, reading is a must. Kids need to learn to read and if they aren’t particularly drawn to it, they can be persuaded to enjoy a book and eventually the love kicks in.
I used the tips below and I found that they did help my daughter naturally grow to love books and reading all by herself.
1. Be a role model
Monkey see, monkey do. When your kids see that you love books and choose to read for the enjoyment of it, they are more apt to want to read themselves. Personally, I keep a book with me all the time. I can’t wait to glue my eyes on to the pages of whatever I am currently reading.
2. Read to them
Make reading a part of your child’s day, everyday. From the time they are babies, read to them. Even if you are reading your own novel out loud to your baby, they are learning the joy of story telling (and your voice). Before nap time, read a book to (or with) them. At bedtime, snuggle up and read to your child. Always make reading a happy time.
3. Let them read what they want
Don’t make them read something you think they should be reading. Even if it’s a best seller, if they don’t choose to read it, then don’t force it. We like to have the freedom to choose our own books, right? Each child has their own little personality and will enjoy the book they choose themselves.
4. Fill your home with books
Making sure that there’s plenty of books available for your kids to pick up at any time is important. Think about placing a few books on their night stand (just as you have them on yours), on the coffee table and in the car. A well stocked book shelf is always a great idea to encourage reading in youngsters. As long as books are being presented to them, they will become readers.
5. Give books for gifts
Give the gift of reading. Books can make wonderful add on ideas for a birthday or Christmas gift. I love to find theme based books and give them to my daughter (tooth fairy, Christmas, first day of school) and she is happy to receive them. Books also make great rewards gifts in place of sugary treats.
6. Join a book club or library
Kids will love being part of a book club or joining the local library. Search online and you will find oodles of book club ideas for kids. Signing your kids up at the local library is always fun. There’s so many books for them to choose from and they get the little outting as well.
7. Pack books for travel
When you’re packing up a bag of goodies for a road trip (plane, train, bus) always stock up on a variety of books. This way books are always accessible to your child and they will pick one up and read it.
It’s all about including book everyday. Make it fun and you will notice that the kids are loving it.
Do you have tips for encouraging your kids to read? I would love to hear about your ideas in the comments below.