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How to Get Your Child Interested in Reading

12th August 2016

Most people remember the warmth of reading a good book as a child, curling up with a parent or their cuddly toys, and escaping into a fantasy world. Even if you were never a big reader yourself, building up a good relationship with reading is crucial for your child’s development. Not only does it have the potential improve youngsters’ future academic ability, it also develops their imagination and encourages them to spend less time looking at a screen and more time looking at a page.

But don’t expect a love of reading to flourish overnight. It is something that should be nurtured from an early age, and as parents, you have a big hand in helping to develop your child’s love for reading.

So, take a look at our top 5 ideas to get your child interested in reading.

Keep their options open

You should never force your child to read a book they don’t want to. Part of growing up is about developing personal opinions and individuality. There’s a book for every child, and it’s important their own tastes and interests are allowed to evolve naturally. Plus, if they are allowed to read the type of book they want, they are more likely to stay interested.

It’s also wise to try and encourage children to choose a favourite author, or to get into a series of books. This way they will always have an option ready for what to pick next from the shelf.

Read with your child

Co-reading with your child is a great way to support them as they learn this new skill, and can also help strengthen the bond between you and your kids. Try reading alternating portions each, or make things more entertaining by giving different voices to the characters. Always take time to discuss what you’ve read with your child; this teaches them to explore their thoughts and opinions.

When your child is old enough to start reading independently, break them in gently by getting them to read to a cuddly toy, or “reading buddy”.

Lead by example

Try and make sure that your children see you reading. Kids learn by example, and if it becomes normal to see Mummy or Daddy reading, then your child will learn that this is a ordinary daytime activity, as natural as eating and sleeping.

Share books from your own childhood with your little ones, or read the books that your child is about to read. It can be more encouraging to read books if there is someone to discuss it with afterwards.

Not just books

Books are not the only way to boost your kids’ reading skills. If your child develops an interest or hobby as they get older, then why not subscribe to an appropriate magazine for them to read? Or perhaps play some word games on long journeys, such as challenging them to find words on road signs that begin with a certain letter.

Incentive & punishment

Some parents find it helpful to offer incentives to reward a certain amount of reading hours completed, such as awarding an hour of TV for an hour of reading. Another idea is to create a points system, for example, 1 point for every hour of reading. If your child earns enough points then they can “buy” a treat at the weekend e.g. a trip to an ice-cream parlour, or a water fight in the back garden. But remember; never use reading as a punishment. This will only burden the activity with negativity.

At Tiny World, we provide quality child care services across the Nottingham and Mansfield area, and we aim to promote a love of reading to all the children in our care, meaning they are encouraged at home and away. Get in touch with our friendly team today for a chat or to arrange a visit to one of our nurseries.