Most parents know that reading to your child at a young age helps them become better readers themselves, but figuring our how to get your child to love reading as they get older can feel daunting.
PBS noted in an article from just a couple of years ago that reading even, “strengthens children’s social, emotional, and character development.”
When children’s feelings are too big for them to manage on their own, stories become a way to connect and process and move through those emotions.
Here are five simple ways to get your child to love reading.
Read Aloud to Your Child
It may sound overly simply, but just the act of reading aloud to your child is important. When children are first starting out, they often believe you’re reading the pictures.
As they get older, though, reading aloud allows them to connect your words with the words they see on the page.
Use your finger to follow the words as you say them, and stop and ask questions about the story, the main characters, or what your child thinks might happen next.
Make It Fun and Engaging
No one likes to hear a droll, monotone voice unenthusiastically reading a book. Even if you’re speaking softly in preparation for bedtime, make it fun and engaging.
Use different voices for different characters or raise and lower your voice and cadence along with the story.
If your little one doesn’t sit still well during story time, this is the perfect opportunity to let them get their wiggles out.
Ask your child to act out one of the characters and use other figurines or stuffed animals for supporting characters.
Create a Reading Routine
Children thrive on routine because it allows them to create expectations and prepare for upcoming transitions in their day—like the transition from dinner to bath time to bed.
Building a reading routine is a great way to allow your child to create that expectation.
It allows your child to get excited about what’s coming next and even begin planning their book choices ahead of time.
Since children use stories and play to work through their emotions, having a set reading time also allows them to choose books that may help them meet those emotional needs.
That said, it’s good to note that creating a reading routine doesn’t mean you can’t read at other times of the day. Read away! A routine just allows for one time each day where your child knows exactly what to expect.
Focus on Your Child’s Interests
It’s so easy to only see the world through our own lens, but choosing books without your child’s interests in mind sets yourself up for disaster.
There is a quote I love that says the person who hates reading just hasn’t found the right book yet. J.K. Rowling said that, and I firmly agree.
Think about other books your child loves, the types of tv shows they watch, and the toys they favor more than others.
Then use that information to help guide them to books they’ll fall in love reading.
Attend a Live Story Time
It’s not always possible to get to a local library or kids’ book store to attend a live story time, but many children’s book companies are bringing their story time online.
Join our Busy Little Book Club group and click the Events tab to find out when we’ll be doing our next live story time.
This type of story time is super engaging for your child and helps you bring in the fun element that children love so much!