Reading To Children
You probably already guessed that from my rather obvious title though, right? One thing that I am often asked by parents is “How do I get my kid to enjoy reading?” The simple answer is show them how.
These are some ways to inspire children to love books and reading:
- Love books yourself- children model their parents behaviour. If your child sees you reading books, enjoying books, buying books and sharing books, they will want to do the same thing.
- Fill your house with books and reading material- the saddest thing a teacher can hear from a student is that they don’t own any books. I am probably one of those boring people who always gives their friends’ babies books as presents but for a child to have their own library from the youngest age is SO important.
- Allocate daily reading time- whether it be an hour, 20 mins or 5 mins. 5 minutes a day is better than nothing at all.
- Go to the library and borrow books on a weekly basis.
- Allow them to borrow weekly from their school library by making sure they have their library bag on library day. School librarians are sticklers for not allowing borrowing without a bag.
- Discuss their favourite books and book characters- talk about books with your kids so that they are immersed in a book rich life.
- Draw and paint their favourite books- children learn to draw before reading and writing and it’s instinctively natural for them to want to create through drawing.
- Write stories together about characters in their favourite books- retell the story, change the ending, write a new complication (problem), make up back stories for the characters.
- Take photos of them reading and stick them on the fridge with “Darcy is reading” or “Darcy is a reader” written underneath- ha! I knew I’d get photography in there somehow.
- Call your children “readers” even if they are aged 3 and just turning the pages. It doesn’t matter that they aren’t physically reading the words- they are still “readers”.
Do all of this from birth. Books and reading need to be a part of a child’s life long before they get to school. Worrying about a child not being interested in books in Grade 1 or 2 is too late. They need a book rich life from birth.
I hope this list is helpful to some of you Mums and Dads out there. I’d love to know what some of your strategies are for inspiring kids to love books. I know there are lots of other ways and would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.