Reading to your child is one of the best things you can do. When you read to your child aloud, you’re not simply introducing a calming bedtime routine, but also lay the foundation for your child’s development. Reading to your children will help them to:
- develop a sense of story
- encourage the development of abstract thinking
- hear language in different ways and expand their vocabulary
- improve their listening, reading and writing skills
- train their memory
- create a bond between the reader and the children, and lots of loving memories
The problem is that at some point, some children become reluctant to read for one reason or another. We’ve come up with tips that will make reading with your children great again (my 4 y.o. and the neighbour’s 6 y.o. helped me to write this post).
1. Let Children Pick Their Own Books
Getting to choose their own books is a strong motivator for children of any age. Take the kids to the bookshop, browse an online bookshop like Wordery or The Book Depository with them. These sites offer free worldwide shipping and their prices are often better than Amazon’s. Your children will want to read the books as soon as they get them, guaranteed!
2. Make Reading Together Fun
Well, let’s be honest – if you read to your children in a dull voice thinking of a thousand of not-so-pleasant things, the whole experience will be “meh”. Awaken your inner actor or actress and have fun reading with different voices, trying different accents, and making faces. It’s not always what you read that matters – it’s how you read it. Role-play the stories your children know well and make up sequels.
Simon, age 4, says: “I love mummy’s giant – Fee! Fi! Fo! Fum! Watch out, everyone! Here I come!”
As you can see, my son loves my operatic baritone!
3. Write Your Own Books
If your children constantly ask you to listen to your stories instead of reading books, why not turn the stories into picture books using BookBildr? That way the children will see your stories in print and surely want to read them. Who knows, they might want to write their own stories!
4. Create Special Memories
Make reading with the children as pleasant and as special as possible. Reading together is a time for cuddling, being close, and enjoying every minute. If you don’t know how to show your children that you love them, read with them and be as loving as you can. Trust me, these special memories will stay with them for as long as they live. I still feel a special warmth when I remember my great-grandmother reading “The Jungle Book” to me.
Nick, age 6 says: “I love it when mum reads to me. She’s usually too tired to read but when we read together, she holds me and reads until I fall asleep”.
5. Create a Special Reading Nook
For older children, creating a special place where they can play and read is a great way to encourage reading. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – a fort made of two chairs and a cover will do. If you have wide windowsills, they can be perfect for reading too – just add some cushions and stickers. You’ll find lots of ideas on Pinterest (follow us while you’re at it).
Reading with your children is wonderful, especially when you enjoy it to the full. So make sure you’re not in a hurry and savour every second of your special time together.