Parents want their kids to grow up smart and intelligent. One way to achieve that is to make books and reading a part of their life. Letting them spend too much time either watching TV or playing with computer games is not really good. So why not instead encourage them to grab a book and settle on the couch? In our previous article, we show the many benefits of reading that kids will reap. But here’s the big question — how do you get them to read? There are several ways and you’ll be surprised that not all of them would actually require them to grab a book and read.
· Use reading as an opportunity to bond with your kids. You can set up a ritual like reading aloud to them before they go to be or before they nap. Do this while you are snuggled in bed or while you have them on your lap. Keep your voice animated and fun to keep them interested. Or you can substitute the names of the characters with your child’s name. Continue doing this even until they’re old enough to be able to read on their own.
· Make books accessible to your kids. Get a shelf that is within your toddler’s reach so he can just grab any book that he wants. You can put books on your coffee table, beside their bed or even inside the bathroom. When you have to leave home, try bringing in a book with you so both of you can read while maybe waiting for your turn at the doctor’s clinic.
· Select age-appropriate books and with topics that interests them. Toddlers are mostly drawn on pop up books or board books. It is best that you give them books that are sturdy and they can easily hold. If they like horses then you may want to look for books that revolve around that topic. Your older kids may prefer a book with a more complicated storyline. They may or may like the Harry Potter series or The Hunger Games Trilogy.
· If there is enough space at home, create a small reading nook. It will be like their own library with shelves full of books and a comfortable seating area. If space is a problem then you can always use the big old couch or the comfortable bed.
· Take her to the library or to places where there’s storytelling involved. There she will learn to interact with other kids and enjoy a good story.
· Set a good example. As the cliché` goes, children are great imitators. They learn by observing you and imitating you. Letting them see that you take a time off to sit down and read a book, a newspaper or a magazine will encourage them to do the same. Show them how much you enjoy reading is far more powerful than actually telling her to read.
When encouraging your kids to read, always make it a point that the experience is a pleasant one. Don’t get tired if they ask you to read the story over and over again because that’s how they learn. While at it, give yourself a pat on the back because you’re on your way to developing your kids love for reading.
What about you Mums? How do you “train” or rather, prepare your kids to love reading? SHARE it with us!
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