These tips will help make your little ones get excited about picking up a book to read!
22 January 2018| Last updated on 23 January 2018
When is the last time that you were transported away on a magical journey , full of adventure, magic, love and even a bit of action? Or the last time that you discovered a whole new world, from the comfort of your living room?
Reading is a special breakaway into a magical world full of adventures and fun when you just need to unwind for a bit. It is a source of knowledge and wisdom. It is what helps us build our dreams and teaches us the virtues of an honourable person. Reading improves our vocabulary and helps us spell correctly, yet, so few people still enjoy reading…
Getting your children to willingly read can be a particularly difficult challenge that you will face. Nowadays, children will rather play video games than sit and read a book. This often leaves them as adults who, even though English is their native tongue, they struggle to write in it and read .
Here are some tips on how you can inspire your children to start reading:
1. Start reading to your children from a young age
What is nicer than being tucked into bed at night and then have one of your parents read you a bedtime story? These small moments are usually the ones that children remember the best – the quiet time of someone taking the time to do something special for us.
Reading to your child from a young age will not only help them foster a love for reading, but also teach them how to hold a book, turn the page and help them understand how to correctly pronounce the words.
2. Read with passion and enthusiasm
While you are reading, be sure to add some dramatic flair. This will help keep your child engaged in the story and get their imaginations running wild as the story builds up. It is difficult not to fall in love with a story and reading while someone is passionately reading the story to listeners.
3. Take books with you when you leave the house
Even though grabbing a toy seems tempting before leaving the house, rather take a book or two with you. Carrying a book around and taking it out while waiting at the bus stop or by the dentist teaches your children to rather reach for a book than your phone or tablet.
4. Lead by example
There is a saying: “Children don’t do what you say, but do what you do.” So lead by example and make time to read books yourself. Your children are more likely to pick up a book and start reading if they see you doing it frequently.
5. Set aside time for reading
Making reading part of your daily routine will help children get used to reading frequently. Start by reading a couple of pages with them after dinner or while they are young. Stick to the routine as they mature but give them the space to emerge themselves in their own book while you do the same. Who knows, inspiring your children to read might just get you to read more as well!
6. Fill your child’s room with books
Instead of filling up your child’s room with toys that often just gets donated, rather fill their rooms with books that are relevant to them. This will help them to pick up a book to read when they’re bored but also start associating books as friends or allies in which they can find adventure and the opportunity to dream up endless possibilities.
7. Create a cosy reading nook for your child
Having somewhere comfortable to sit while reading is almost half the battle already won. Create a reading nook in a part of the house of your child’s bedroom where they can sit and relax while reading. It helps knowing that you have a dedicated space to sit and enjoy your book without constant interruptions, distractions or having to move for other people.
8. Get your child a library card
Getting a library card for your child will not only work out cheaper on your bank account, but it opens a whole new world to them of different genres of books to read for different ages and on a number of different topics. Introducing your child to your local library is introducing them to a new world with a lifetime’s worth of adventures and learning.
There are a number of great libraries in Abu Dhabi with smaller community libraries that have recently also opened. Finding a library close to you will be really easy. Schools and universities usually also have their own library that children can use.
9. Teach your children how to select the right book for them
Having a book that is too easy or too difficult will often times leave your child either feeling bored because they aren’t challenged enough, or frustrated because the book is beyond their comprehension. Avoid this from happening by teaching your child how to look for a book that is suitable to his or her age. They can always ask the librarian or shop assistant to show them what books are relevant to their age group, else they should try the “five finger rule.” If they read the second page of a book and don’t understand five words on the page then the book is likely too difficult for them.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!