Reading is an excellent habit, which must be encouraged in a child. The earlier you start, the better it will be for you and your child. Reading bedtime stories to your children is the best way to develop their interest for reading. You should give them age appropriate books with great pictures, which will develop their interest in reading.
I do read stories to my daughters and they enjoy their story time. By the age of four, they were reading small books on their own. As I too enjoy reading, it gives me great joy to see that my girls have developed the habit of reading.
Let us look at some of the easy ways through which you can inculcate the habit of reading in your children.
Start reading early.
It is never too early to start reading or singing to your children. Songs and nursery rhymes have a great learning effect on children. Singing poems or songs makes it easier for the brain to register. You will be surprised, how soon they pick up a particular rhyme with a good tune.
Try reading aloud so that they get the pronunciations and language right. This will help them to build their vocabulary and language skills. Continue reading to them long after they have started reading independently.
Reading stories are a great way of connecting with children and this also helps in putting them to sleep.
If you are a book lover, fill your home with books.
If you are a book lover, your home will be filled with books. Children observe things around them and are curious to explore them. If you have magazines with good pictures, story books or any other books, they are bound to look at them. You need to read to them to generate their interest in reading. Actions speak louder than words, so your reading will help to generate the interest of reading in them.
As your child grows, they will read daily newspapers, magazines and books around them. This is one of the most natural ways of getting your child to read.
Start your children with a book series.
Children like continuity and so it would be good to get them started with some good books such as Geronimo Stilton books, Wimpy kids, Heidi, Winnie the Pooh etc. They associate themselves better with the main character. As they develop a liking towards a book series, they eagerly await the next instalment of books.
Keep books all around the house where they can find them easily.
You can keep books in their room, family room, living room, in the car (while travelling), in your bag etc. Once they have easy access to books, then they are bound to read them even in boredom.
Whenever your child is bored or does not have anything to do, he/she is more likely to turn to reading. Carry a book always to get them involved in reading.
Take them to a library or book store.
The neighbourhood library or book store is a great way to get your child interested in reading. Do not force your interests on them. Let them explore the different types of books. Guide them and give them your suggestions.
Do not have a rule to read daily for half an hour. Let them decide and enjoy the reading process. If you read daily at a particular time, then it is more likely that they will follow the same. Every day keep a family time, wherein you and your children will enjoy doing things that they like.
Encourage re-reading of books.
There will always be times when they don’t have any more new books but have loads of books that they have already read. Encourage them to reread the books that they have already read and loved.
Re-reading helps them to understand things that they have skipped earlier. It helps them to get comfortable and familiar with things that they already know. Remember your little ones will never be tired of reading their favourite stories.
Give them time to develop the reading habit.
The reading habit comes over a period of time. It does not come in a day. Give them time to develop this habit. Let them pick up their own pace in reading the books that they love or other books that will give them knowledge etc. Some children develop reading habits late in life. No matter what, it is good to keep encouraging them to read.
It is time to get your books out of your closet and have a small library at home. Get your children to start reading right from being tiny toddlers. Once they catch on the reading bug, you will find that they will look out for every opportunity to get a new book to read.
Remember you can make books your child’s best friend. These are some of the easy ways through which you can inculcate the habit of reading in your children.
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