Reading is a vital part of a child’s future success in life, so it’s easy to understand why parents are so keen on making sure their little one is spending time with books. Despite best efforts, however, some children may show a limited interest in literature. But, with a few creative tips and techniques, you can have even the most reluctant child finding a love for reading in their own special way!
- Read Together - More than anything else, children crave attention from their parents. Reading together not only builds important literacy skills, but also provides a structured bonding time that your child will look forward to each day. If your child associates reading with cozy, one on one time with Mommy or Daddy, they will be much more inclined to associate reading with positive feelings.
- Create a Reading Space - Children love small, cozy spaces and a book nook is a wonderful way to get your child in the “mood” to read. Find any little space in their room, your room, or the family room and equip it with pillows, stuffed animals, soft lighting, and plenty of interesting reading materials.
- Comics/Joke Books - For children who may be struggling with decoding and fluency, comics and joke books provide short pieces of content that they don’t have to work too hard to enjoy. Remember, developing a positive association with reading is the first key to unlocking successful readers. More “sophisticated” reading material will follow later.
- Get Them a Penpal - Who doesn’t love getting mail? Your child won’t be able to resist the excitement of getting an envelope in the mailbox addressed directly to them! There are plenty of websites where you can find age-appropriate penpals from all over the world. But, the most reliable way to get frequent letters may be writing Grandma, Grandpa, or a favorite aunt or uncle. It’s a great way to build a special bond between family and you can be sure that correspondence comes regularly.
- Invest in a Subscription to a Kid’s Magazine - Again, who doesn’t love getting something fun in the mail? Find a kid's magazine about something your child is interested in, such as wildlife or sports. They’ll look forward to getting their monthly package, and the content within that package is short, entertaining, and caters to their interests.
- Audio Read Alouds - Listening to stories builds vital comprehension skills that are at the foundation of reading. Find audio recordings for books your child will love and play them when there’s a bit of downtime, like when coming back from playing outside or right before bed. Bonus points if they can follow along in the book, too. If you’re looking for some great options, check out Storypod’s audio library for intentionally crafted stories that build literacy skills for children at every age.
- Make Them a Book Critic - Tap into a child’s love of self-expression by giving them the platform to “critique” the books they read. Create a chart where your child can write the book title and rate them using star stickers, (which you’ll display prominently in your home, of course). If you have an outgoing child, record a short, weekly video and send it to your relatives. Make them feel like the host of their own show by recording “episodes” regularly, making a sign, and having them dress up!
- Take the “How-To” Route - Child-friendly recipe books and science experiments are a great way to get your child reading through the motivation of creating a finished product!