It is needless to say that reading habits are not only beneficial academically, but they are also a skill required for lifelong success. Reading helps children develop vocabulary, increases attention span, improves analytical thinking, etc. at an early age. With the numerous activity options that children have these days, they barely take interest in reading books.
As parents, you might find it difficult to get your children to pick up reading habits, especially in the digital age. Todays’ generation, has various resources when it comes to reading, however encouraging them to read is where the challenge lies. You as a parent can make this a habit for your children. Here are a few techniques to get your kids into a reading habit:
Create a Reading Environment
Creating a reading-friendly environment is one of the quickest ways to ensure that your child develops an interest in reading. This could be done in various ways. You could decorate a corner of your child’s room with classic children’s book characters, glow-in-dark letters or words, etc. You can fix a reading hour for your child and make him or her read during that time mandatorily. As a parent, you know your child better and so you know what environment would help inculcate the reading habit in them.
Audiobooks are becoming an increasingly popular book format. Audiobooks are based on the art of storytelling. The story is narrated in an attractive way that makes the young ones picture the story in their heads. Some kids might find this way of reading interesting as they have the power to imagine as they listen to the story. The shift in the storytelling experience is a catch that keeps the kids immersed in the story. Also, this is a good option for those children with a lesser attention span. They also get to learn how to pronounce certain words and their usage too. Audiobooks are distraction-free than reading the actual books.
Start Reading to your Child
The optimal time to start reading to your child is when he/she turns six months old. A child starts developing its auditory and visual senses at this period. Reading with the help of moving objects like puppets, 3d pop-up books, etc. can help them visualize. The sound and actions that you choose are important as they grasp these better than words. Staying close and cuddling while reading makes the kids feel that this activity is an essential part of their development.
Join Book Clubs
Every child has their own pace of learning, comfort zone, etc. The best of the child can be seen in a place where he or she is comfortable and likes the place. For some kids, it could be home and for others, it could be a school, library or a place with a group of people. If your growing child is comfortable around a larger social atmosphere, you can take this advantage and enrol him/her in a book club. The number of book clubs is increasing and you can surely find the right one. Book clubs are the right way to give your child exposure to an extensive reading environment. This could be a place where he/she can make friends that have similar interests.
If the children are introduced to libraries at the right time, they can be a child’s best friend. As it is known, libraries are called the heaven of books. All the libraries have a kids section, where the atmosphere and the collection of books are meant for a pleasurable reading experience. Make it a habit to visit the library frequently with your child and let them explore the books, learning games, etc. Taking a library membership will also help your child to get access to the activities and workshops that take place at the library.
Relate Books to Real Life Examples
For a fact, it is known that many authors base their stories on real life experiences. When authors write from their hearts, creating a personal experience becomes easier. Children can prove to be the most difficult audiences, as they have unique questions in mind. Relating the story with real life situations allows one to subconsciously connect to the story better. As kids, they can understand and imagine the story better when this is done. A healthy dose of connecting real life and the stories in books is essential in their early growing years.
– Shreevarshita Gupta