Many parents believe that it’s their responsibility to foster a positive relationship between their child and books. Nevertheless, children are surrounded by books and reading in kindergarten, school, extracurricular activities, clubs, and more. However, there is an aspect of these environments that is rarely talked about: many of these activities build up a negative attitude towards reading.
Factors to consider when it comes to children and reading
1. Cognitive development level
It’s important to know how much a child has developed in terms of memory, attention, perception, thought processes, and so on. Tailor the books you give them according to their level – if you’re not sure, refer to the reviews of the book.
The structure of the brain cortex in a three-year-old is very different than that of a seven-year-old. At age seven, the number of neural connections is much higher than when a child is three.
3. Teaching methods
Nowadays, there are many methods that help children learn how to read, pay attention, and generally start loving the reading process. With so much out there, though, the average parent can get lost in a sea of information and not know how and when to offer books and reading to their child.
Here are some methods you can try:
Writing and reading are closely related activities. If your child likes storytelling, encourage them to make up a story of their own. Once they start writing it (of course, you should help them), they will soon realise that they would like to start reading other stories to learn how to write their own in a better way.
Here are some writing services you can use to get better at writing and editing: TrustMyPaper (getting help from professional essay writers will also boost your writing skills), Wowgrade (find essay writers who can help with your child’s texts).
2. Reading games
In school, there are many activities that teachers use to bring their students closer to reading. You can find plenty of these resources and activities online. Just search for lesson plans for reading and books.
You can also check out some of their publications or check out teacher groups on social media. There, teachers often share exercises and cool activities related to reading they do in the classroom.
3. Digital resources
Nowadays, there are plenty of games available on tablets and phones that can help your child get comfortable with reading. If they are used to having fun on their tablet, it will be weird for them to read from a physical book.
You shouldn’t be worried if your child is getting too used to screens – it’s just the way the world works now. Rather, connect them to reading books by showing them how on their favourite device.
4. Read adaptations of cartoons and movies
Kids adore cartoons and animated movies. Your child probably has a favourite cartoon character or movie. You can use this to get them interested in writing. Namely, you can show them a book connected to their favourite character, which is something most brands have for their more popular series.
Alternatively, many cartoons and movies are adaptations of books, like the world-famous Harry Potter series. If your child enjoys watching a movie that was adapted or based on a book, introduce the book to them.
5. Set up a designated reading time
Children thrive on routine and schedules, no matter how much you’d assume otherwise. Children need a clear structure in their life, especially if you want them to acquire a new habit. That is why you should strive to set up a time in the day when your child is reading. This can be before bed or before an afternoon nap. The period before sleeping is especially recommended because it can calm kids down from all the sensory overload and help them get better sleep.
6. Adapt the surroundings
It’s just like other habits: if you want your child to get in the habit of reading, you need to make it accessible and convenient. In other words, it’s a good idea to provide easy access to books in different rooms around the house and other areas where your child spends time. This will help your child get into a habit of reading at moments when they are looking to entertain themselves.
7. Give them reading freedom
The recipe to get your creative juices flowing is to find the right mix between freedom and structure. That is why you should give your child enough time and space to dedicate to reading as they want to. Also, don’t push or insist on some of the books your child is not interested in: while they are still children, it’s better to give them the freedom to pick their own titles. Of course, you should feel free to give your suggestions and put your foot down if they choose anything that might be inappropriate for their age.
8. Talk to them about their reading
Every activity between a child and a parent that involves communication is considered precious. For children, it is even more so if the conversation revolves around their reading interests. Children will find it enjoyable and exciting to read if they see that gives them a common interest with their parents
Most importantly, you should work on building positive emotions related to the activity of reading.
Every time they finish a book, talk to them about your impressions. Try to guide them in the right direction with their analysis of their reading and ask for their opinion. Don’t lecture them or hog the conversation unless they want you to.
For many people, reading is an enjoyable activity. The interesting fact about this is that many adults who love reading were usually avid readers as children. So, if you want your child to carry on reading throughout their life, they should start while they are small.
Reading for children has a myriad of benefits. It will help them build their vocabulary, express themselves more clearly and boost creativity. The activities that we have outlined above are just some of the ways you can interest your child in reading. Most importantly, you should work on building positive emotions related to the activity of reading. This way, children will always associate it with powerful, positive memories and feelings.