Children who come from a home where the parents have a love of reading and have a wide range of reading material available are much more likely to develop a love of reading themselves. Remember, it’s a very rare child that becomes a reader who wasn’t read to in early life. With this in mind, here are some ideas on how best to cultivate a love of reading in your child:
Make books readily available and easily accessible. Make books and other reading materials present in the house. Having a book shelf in your child’s room is a great way of involving them in reading.
Read yourself. If your children see that you read, you choose to read, and you enjoy reading, they are more likely to follow in your footsteps.
Give books as gifts. Don’t forget that books make wonderful, inexpensive gifts at birthday and Christmas time. Something received as a gift has the potential to become much more valuable.
Make reading fun! Reading should never be a chore! Act out stories, use silly voices and above all be enthusiastic. A boring reader will make the most exciting of stories dull.
Read frequently. Make time for reading to young children every day, several times a day and encourage older children to read everyday too. Ask them questions about what they’re reading.
Turn off the television and have some quiet time. Turning off the television will force your children to ‘find other activities’. Too much television can have a harmful effect on the development of a younger child, especially when it comes to learning how to read.
Visit the library. Turn the library into a cherished weekly or monthly treat so your children can choose their own books.
Comic books and books on tape. Books on CD, comic books and magazines are also very useful tools for teaching your child to read.
Story-time: Bring your child to story time at local libraries, bookshops or museums. Hearing an animated reader can be wonderfully exciting for a child.
Movies: Use their favourite movies as a way to introduce them to new books,. Maybe your child likes Thomas the tank engine or the Harry Potter movies? Why not let them discover the magic of reading stories that tie into these characters.
The most important thing is to make reading fun, when you’re reading The three little pigs get your children to huff and puff when the big bad wolf tries to blow the house down.