There are numerous reasons why you want your child to be a little bookworm. Reading supports their language development and extends their vocabulary, which helps them with both their reading and writing. It helps them to develop empathy, improves their concentration levels, supports problem-solving and mathematical skills, and it sparks their imaginations.
All of this aside from the fact that the books are magical portals to another world and reading can become a lifelong pleasurable hobby for your child. However, the challenge can sometimes be around how to get your child reading…
Be a role model
The very best thing that you can do to encourage your child to read is to be a role model for them.
Our children like to mimic us, so it makes sense that if we want them to read, then we should be reading. Let them see how much you enjoy reading, always have a book on the go and talk to them about it. Show them how much you enjoy selecting new books and be passionate about reading so that they want to be the same.
Create a routine around it
It helps for children to be read to from an early age, ideally from birth. From that point onwards, you should create a routine around reading regularly with your children. They will soon come to learn that books represent a special storytime with you and look forward to it.
As they grow older, keep the storytime at bedtime routine. When they can read to themselves, there is still real benefit in reading to them, so continue to give them a bedtime story before allowing them some time to read to themselves before lights out.
Make trips to the bookstore or library fun
Trips to the bookstore and library should be fun outings, and your child should be able to see how much you enjoy it.
Help them to choose books that are appropriate for their age and take the time to research the latest releases or genres that you have noticed that they gravitate towards so that you can make suggestions to them.
Keep searching for that book
Sometimes your child might be struggling to really engage with reading because they have yet to find that book. For reluctant readers, they might need to get that spark and joy for reading by getting hold of a book that completely captivates them.
Do not assume that your child is not a reader if they do not seem keen, remind yourself that they just need to find the book, the genre or the author that ignites their love of books.
Get resources around books
You will find that there are resources available now to support every child to read, from dyslexia books to online games such as Reading Eggs. We are fortunate that we have stacks of resources supporting reading at our fingertips so you need to find the ones that you feel will most benefit your child and engage them.
They might love their arts and crafts and you could download coloring sheets and puppets from their latest book, or perhaps you could create some small world play around it.