Learning to read for children can take its form in many ways. The journey to get them there is so much fun, and its truly amazing how quickly they start to pick it up with their thirst for knowing more, and understanding more about the world.
Maintaining that same level of interest and enjoyment they get from reading can be hard as they get older. To celebrate International Literacy Day we’ve got some great tips and activities you can try with your children to keep them interested in reading and excited to enter different worlds, increase their knowledge and loose themselves on daring adventures.
15 ways to encourage your child to read
Be a reading role model
Children often emulate the behaviours of adults in their lives. Let them see you reading regularly—books, magazines, newspapers, or even digital content. Your enthusiasm for reading can be contagious.
Create a reading-friendly environment
Design a cosy reading nook or corner with comfortable seating, good lighting, and plenty of age-appropriate books. Make it a special place where they can escape into stories.
Let kids choose their reading materials. Whether it's fiction, non-fiction, comics, graphic novels, or magazines, giving them a say in what they read can boost their interest.
Visit libraries and bookstores
Take kids to libraries and bookstores regularly. These spaces are filled with the excitement of discovering new stories and authors.
Read aloud together
Reading aloud to children, regardless of their age, can be a magical experience. Choose engaging books that are slightly above their reading level to challenge and captivate them.
Join a book club or reading group
Many communities and schools have book clubs for children. Being part of a group that discusses books can foster a sense of belonging and provide a platform to share thoughts.
Set reading goals
Help kids set achievable reading goals. These could be as simple as finishing a certain number of books each month or exploring specific genres.
Use e-readers, audiobooks, and interactive reading apps to engage tech-savvy kids in reading. Some apps even include games and quizzes related to the books they read.
Celebrate reading achievements
Celebrate milestones, such as completing a challenging book or reaching a reading goal, with small rewards or praise.
Connect reading to their interests
Find books that align with their hobbies and interests. Whether it's animals, sports, space, or mysteries, there's a book for every passion.
Make reading social
Organize reading playdates or gatherings with friends where they can read and discuss books together.
Once a child finds a series they enjoy, they often become invested in following the characters and storylines across multiple books.
Explore diverse stories
Introduce kids to books that showcase diverse characters and cultures. Reading about different perspectives can broaden their understanding of the world.
Create reading challenges
Set up reading challenges or scavenger hunts where they need to find specific types of books or explore different genres.
Engage in book-to-movie comparisons
After reading a book, watch the movie adaptation and discuss the similarities and differences. This can encourage critical thinking and literary analysis.
The key is to make reading an enjoyable and positive experience. Patience, encouragement, and flexibility are essential as kids have varying interests and reading paces. Take a look at the Book Trust website for more information.