Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Make reading fun:

Reading fosters a lifelong love of books and leads to better educational outcomes. Here are some tips to make it fun.
By Motherpedia
Date: October 29 2012
Editor Rating:

What makes a child love reading? The best way to answer that question, according to many early childhood teachers and other experts, is to ask another: what makes anyone want to do anything?

When it’s fun!

While you may not want to hear about another activity to find time for, reading is the key to learning, absorbing information, acquiring knowledge and asking questions which can set them up for life. It’s one of the best investments of your time that you can make for your young child, of around 30 minutes a day. Here are some tips to help get your child to love reading.

1.     Let them see you read! They notice everything you do.

2.     Take outings to the bookstore or library. If you or they are only interested in e-books, that’s fine too. Take the time to check out the e-books available together.

3.     When they ask you “Mummy, what would you like for your birthday?” tell them you’d like a book because that gives them the message that books are valuable.

4.     Audio books are good for helping to build vocabulary so they are a good for an option to reading – but don’t buy a shortened version.

5.     Set up a bookshelf in their room so they can keep their favourite books close.

6.     Let them read stories to their younger siblings or pets or dolls.

7.     Make up a reading game. For example, put name tags around the house and they have to find them. Or let them cross off items on the shopping list when you visit the supermarket or greengrocer.

8.     Read to your child every day. And, when you do so, lose all inhibition and make it a performance to remember. Use different voices for different characters. Act it out. Let it come alive!

9.     Children do have favourites and can become really focussed on a particular book which they want you to read every night. It might get tiresome for you but persevere with it as they’ll also tire of it when they’re ready. Once you’re on to the 4th or 5th or subsequent reading, talk about a particular aspect of the story each day. When your child (finally!) loses interest in a book, have the next one ready to go.

10.   Let your child be part of the reading. Let her finish the sentence, read the pictures, help with the characterisations.

11.   Don’t make reading time a time when you’re their teacher. If the book contains five or more words on a page that they do not understand, they are not ready for that book.

12.   Remember – make it fun so interchange books for other fun things you do with your family in the evening. For example, instead of a ‘movie night’, have a ‘book night.

13.   Do give your children fiction and non-fiction to read. For a start, some kids love non-fiction but even if they don’t, it helps them to understand that learning is also fun.

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