Making Reading Fun for Kids: Six Tips
Inspiring your child to read is one of the most important things that you can do as a parent. With a love of reading, your child will have a critical tool for success.
Here are six tips to help get your children to tune out the television and tune into books.
1. Really explore their interests.
Talk to your child's teacher about recommendations for books that would be particularly well-suited for your children and that might touch on current or future topics of classroom study. What authors have your children enjoyed in the past? If Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a hit, try James and the Giant Peach next.
If your children don't have any favorite books already, talk to them about their interests. Your child's imagination might be piqued by a biography about someone in the news. Or you can ask each of your children to pick a favorite non-fiction subject. If your son loves spiders, put that at the top of your reading list. If your daughter is fascinated by jungle creatures, make that the focus of your library trips. Even if you end up finding books about their favorite television or movie characters, it's better than no reading at all.
2. Take time to find the best reading material.
At the bookstore or library, allow your children to lead the way. Give them ample time to explore the sections that interest them. If they are drawn to comic books, strike a compromise. Let them pick out one comic book if they pick out another book with it as well. Guide them in their book choices based on what you learned about their interests. Make suggestions and see if you can encourage them to pick a wide variety of books, both nonfiction and fiction.
3. Set family reading time.
Instead of sitting down in front of the TV every night after dinner, establish a family reading hour. Turn off the TV and the radio and help your child read. If they are older, listen to them read to you. As your child grows, you'll look back fondly on this time that you shared together. Even as your children grow older, they really benefit from listening to stories read aloud. Reading together at the end of the day also provides you with a great opportunity to connect with your child at the end of a busy day.
4. Engage your child in reading.
Build their comprehension skills by asking them about what they've read. Get their input on the material and you'll be able to build their understanding of what reading is all about.
5. Encourage reading in other parts of your child's life.
Reading books isn't the only way that your child can get experience in reading. You can play games that involve reading and spelling, such as Scrabble or Balderdash. You can have them help you with day-to- day reading tasks, such as cooking and reading labels at the store. Whatever ways you can add reading into your children's life will go a long way in their reading development.
6. Set a good example.
Reading parents produce reading children. You can't expect your child to take an interest in reading if you don't read yourself. Make it a habit to read the newspaper or take up a novel now and then. If you make reading a family affair, your child will be more likely to follow suit.