Reading is not just about expanding vocabulary and improving grammar, but also about immersing oneself in an exciting world of adventures. However, not all children enjoy reading, especially if they have not found their favorite genre. In this article, we will discuss five ways to instill a love of reading in children. Try applying them, and your little one may become a true bookworm!
Why is it important to instill a love of reading in children?
The developmental characteristics of a child do not allow parents to simply give them a book one day and make them read it. Parents must gradually instill a love of reading. In 2019, Ohio State University conducted an interesting study on parents reading books to children. As part of the experiment, it was found that young children whose parents read to them daily by the time they enter kindergarten know at least 290,000 more words than children who are not read to regularly. This impact makes it easier for children to expand their vocabulary and understand the diverse texts they will have to read as they grow up, both in school and beyond.
Dr. Laura Phillips, Director of Learning and Development at the Child Mind Institute, commented on how to get children interested in reading:
“The best solution is to read what your child likes. When children are given the opportunity to follow their own interests, they learn that reading is fun and useful, and they are more likely to continue reading on their own. This applies even to young children who want to read the same book repeatedly, and such a child’s desire is part of their language acquisition,” says Dr. Phillips.
We fully agree with the comments of the Western researcher, which is why we have compiled effective ways to get children interested in books.
What contribution can you make to instilling a love of books in your little one?
Together with psychologists, we have figured out how to make reading interesting. Now we’re ready to share this interesting information with you!
- Let the child choose the book
Based on the expert comment above, the key to instilling a love of reading in your child is allowing them to choose their own literary works. Your child should be given the opportunity to independently choose reading material according to their own interests and inclinations.
You can suggest books to your child based on your preferences. And based on the selection you offer, they will make their own choice. It could be another story in a series of books or a work by the same author – the choice is limitless. You can also look for other works in the same genre that left a positive impression on your child. The main thing is to offer a choice, not just one option.
For older children, the range of literature offered is much broader. It could be popular science texts that expand your child’s knowledge and understanding in the sphere of their current interests, be it animals, oceans, motorcycles, mythical creatures, sports or dance. You can also look for fictional stories that touch on themes of personal relationships between characters.
- Read the work in roles
Children have an amazing imagination! Therefore, simply reading a book can sometimes be insufficient. Reading a fairy tale, short story or other kind of work can be the perfect way to make reading interesting and interactive. There are several different methods for accomplishing this kind of reading.
If you read the book collectively, you can involve other family members in the process by assigning them roles as characters. To make the picture more realistic, suggest to the child to change their voice the way they imagine it. It’s a good idea to use appropriate props so that the child can truly embody their character.
- Choose the perfect time and place for reading
Children should be provided with stress-free time and an environment in which they can read for pleasure at their own pace, with minimal adult intervention. Factors such as the surrounding environment, noise, air temperature, and uncomfortable seating have been repeatedly proven to affect children’s engagement in reading through research.
To fully engage in reading and enjoy it, parents should create a comfortable and quiet reading space for their child. This can be as simple as a corner in the room that can be decorated as a reading spot or, in warmer weather, going outside to the park with your child and showing them the joys of reading in the fresh air. This will encourage your child to repeatedly pick up a book and spend time with it.
- Connect the story to real life experiences
A great way to develop a love for reading is to make a connection between what your child is reading and their own experiences. For example, choose a themed story before going to a museum or before going on a trip. When you arrive, you and your child can find circumstances similar to those in the book that you are reading.
- Be a role model
One of the key things you can do to raise a reader in your family is to start reading yourself. If your child sees that you are dedicating time to reading, they are more likely to copy your behavior, even from an early age. Having a home full of books does not necessarily motivate a child to read, but helping to develop a reading habit can be a good motivation to emulate you. Reading also provides a great opportunity for the whole family to discuss what you have read: what everyone likes and dislikes about a particular story. You do not necessarily have to read the same book; you can just share your reading experiences with each other, and believe me, success will not be long in coming!
We hope that these tips will help you raise a child who is advanced beyond their years! And you can find other useful tips for children and interesting book recommendations on the pages of our blog.
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