“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ~ Dr. Seuss
Jumping into a good book is like taking your mind on an amazing expedition. Through reading and writing, anything is possible. Creating worlds with talking animals, alternate universes, aliens and more!
Unfortunately, not everyone has a natural taste for reading. Depending on a child’s learning style, reading and writing may feel more like a chore. As a parent, it is your job to convince them reading is fun! This may be difficult, but there are many ways to encourage a child to love reading.
How can we ignite a child’s passion for reading?
Read the Right Book
Choose or let your child pick a book that they can relate too. If they play sports, love camping or dancing, for example, find a book that encompasses those topics.
Books are more enjoyable to read when you’re interested in the topic and want to know more.
Choose a book that is on your child’s reading level. Sometimes reading can be overwhelming when you don’t understand the words or is too long for them. A simple way to tell if a book is on your child’s reading level is by using the five finger rule. Read the first page, and have your child hold up a finger for every word they don’t know. If they don’t understand five or more words, they may not be ready to read that book yet. That is okay! Everyone learns at his or her own pace and overbook they read improves their reading level!
Read a variety of material – stories, poems, information books, newspaper articles and comics for your child. Show them all the forms literature comes in. Maybe they would prefer to read short stories and poems instead of chapter books?
Create a Reading Space
Finding a quiet place to sit down and read a book is a great start a habit of settling down and focusing on reading. Create a calm and inviting environment where your child feels completely comfortable spending time with their favourite characters, and getting lost in a beautiful story. This should be a place where their imagination can run wild.
Lead by example! Make time for yourself to read a book as well. Go to your reading place and read your books silently together. This is also a great way for family bonding time.
My little bookcase has a wonderful list of reading space ideas here.
Bring the Book to Life
Try and plan ahead if the book is spooky and Halloween related, dress up in costume and read it by flashlight. If it about going to the beach, read it at the beach! By doing this, you’re bringing another element to the story. Visual and kinesthetic learners really connect when they feel physically involved.
When reading a story with dialogue change voices or share the reading by assigning a character to each reader.
Ask questions about what they are reading! How do they feel about the characters? What do you think will happen next? Can they relate to the characters? As your child becomes more familiar with books and reading, ask questions about the structure. Who is the protagonist? When you ask questions and discuss what they are reading it makes them think and question what they just read helping their reading comprehension.
Many books now have apps and videos you can watch and play along with. For an introduction to book and reading, W5Go’s app on books and reading explains the many kinds of books and reading material available and when we use each one.
Set a day once or twice a month where you go to the library to discover a new book. Make a date of it, grab a hot cocoa and settle in for some family bonding time! Also, many libraries offer programs for kids or reading clubs your child can join!
Bringing a child to a library promotes being social and creates a sense of community. They can see a world of different books, and meet new people that also enjoy reading. The library community helps a child feel more comfortable with talking about what they are reading, their thoughts and feelings about a book. Joining book clubs is a great way for children to discuss and learn about how everyone views things differently. We learn more by discussing and talking about what we’ve seen or read.
Make it A Challenge
Some children are really motivated by challenges and find it really fun to complete a task. So make a game out of it! How many books can they read over the summer?
Maybe offer a prize like ice cream for finishing a book.
Make a chart counting the books they’ve read. According to SMART goals, people are more likely to achieve a goal, such as finishing a book, if they can physically see and track their progress. You can start off small such as a chapter every two weeks. By making it a challenge, a child can practice planning and setting goals to achieve them. It instills a habit of making time to read and set aside time to accomplish a goal.
Often libraries will release summer book series challenges, and there are plenty online to choose from. My KidsTime has a great list of summer books and challenges for kids here.
While reading the book take time to draw, paint, act or model scenes they’ve read. This helps children comprehend what they have read, and be able to retell the story to others. Use voices while reading aloud to make the book more interesting. Have your child create a voice and read along pretending to be the character.
Try and find books that have movie adaptions or plays made about them. Read the book and reward it with a trip to the theatre and watch the show together. Make a family date of it, grab a treat after and discuss how the show compared to the book.
Come together with fellow parents and create a book club with your children. When they finish a book together throw a themed party for the kids to talk about the story. If they have a birthday coming up have it themed around their favourite book. Have fun with it! Make costumes or crafts, bake food mentioned in the stories.
Break the Rules!
Some rules are meant to be broken. Allow them to stay up a bit later to finish that chapter in a book. Read to them even if they can read on their own. Hearing others read helps with pronunciation. Let them move around while you read. For kinesthetic learners, this may help them listen and understand what the story is about.
Reading yields so many benefits for a growing mind, encouraging a child to read is like giving them the keys to the city. So go ahead give them the key and open the doors to possibilities!
Books and Reading
W5Go’s Books and Reading app is an easy, fun way to introduce your child to the wonders of reading! Enjoy an exciting adventure in augmented & virtual reality, exploring the W5Go secret library, learning the who, what, where, when and why’s of books!