Getting a child excited to read can be easy if you make it fun. Start by incorporating reading into everyday activities. For example, when you’re out on a walk, point out things in the environment and talk about them. Ask your child questions about what they see and encourage them to look it up in a book later. Make trips to the library or bookstore a regular activity, and let your child explore different books and genres. Read to your child often and let them take turns reading back to you. Incorporate stories and characters into everyday life and make up your own stories with them. Finally, find books that your child is interested in. There are many books out there, from novels to comics and magazines, that can appeal to different tastes and interests. When a child finds a book they are interested in, they are more likely to be excited about reading it.
Growing up, my parents allowed my brother and me to have a giant suitcase full of books! Classics like Swiss Family Robinson, Treasure Island, Cinderella through to Marvel to DC. Big books, small books, thin books, fat books, A whole set of encyclopaedia’s. We had enough to keep two little boys engaged for hours. We were happy to get new, used, borrowed, gifted, and circulated books. Some of our readers had folktales, some had dinosaurs, some had animals, and others were comics. We would be buried in books for hours during summer and winter vacations. It was aside from other activities and our regular chores. Sometimes, we would bargain with mom and dad for time to read, wedged right between our evening playtime and dinner.
Unfortunately, with the advancement of technology, reading is becoming a fast-fading skill. Everyone wants to own a tablet or an e-reader. Only a few want to buy a newspaper or a physical copy of a book. At least, that’s my opinion. I sometimes think with time, books may become a thing of the past. I hope not, for the sake of those that want to create a magical escape into the world of world fantasy.
Ten ways to get Kids to read & get them hooked
- Start Early:
Begin reading to your child from a young age to instill a love for books and storytelling.
- Make it Fun:
Choose books your child finds exciting and make reading fun, not a chore. Begin by reading to your children. Find books your children enjoy and take the time to read them daily.
- Set aside Reading Time:
Establish a daily routine for reading, such as before bedtime or after breakfast. Introduce them to the concept of a library. Again, a physical visit will be an eye-opener for them—the world of books.
- Encourage Independent Reading:
As your child grows older, encourage them to choose and read books independently.
- Read Aloud:
Read books aloud to your child, emphasizing pronunciation, inflection, and expression. Introduce your children to phonemic awareness. For example, read stories aloud, highlighting the individual sounds of each word. Play word games. You can play all kinds of word games with your child, such as hangman, crosswords, and BINGO, to help them learn new words.
- Ask Questions:
Engage your child in the reading by asking them questions about the story, characters, and illustrations. Talk about the words and the stories you’re reading. Ask your children questions about the characters, the setting, and the plot. Encourage your child to sound out words. When your child struggles with a word, have them break it down into individual sounds and sound it out.
- Use Visual Aids:
Use pictures, illustrations, and other visual aids to help your child understand the story. Introduce sight words. Sight words are words your child can recognize without sounding out the letters. Teach your child the alphabet. Use objects in your home to create a physical alphabet and go through it letter by letter.
- Encourage Writing:
Encourage your child to write their own stories or keep a journal, which can improve their reading skills.
- Visit the Library:
Take your child to the library and allow them to select books they are interested in. Incorporate writing into your reading lessons. For example, have your child copy words and sentences from the book and practice writing the letters of the alphabet.
- Practice, Practice, Practice:
Regular practice is critical to improving reading skills. Please encourage your child to read daily and provide positive reinforcement for their efforts.
Gift your child a book today if you haven’t done so yet! Let them immerse themselves in worlds of magical fantasy as they soak in stories, which will become an excellent thirst for knowledge in the coming years.
Augustus Manohar Stanley is now serving his life’s calling as a full-time Educator and works in Karnataka. He loves creating short academic videos and is also a music enthusiast.
Follow Augustus Stanley