Are you struggling to get your child interested in books? Don’t worry, some kids do start out as bookworms, yes, but others simply need a little push to discover the magic of words on a page.
At PAL Learning, we actually strive to promote a love of reading among students in relevant subjects like English, for example. But encouragement for children to love books can come from parents too.
In fact, here are some of our favourite tips for parents trying to get their kids more interested in reading. Most of these work beautifully when done the right way!
Share Your Love of Reading with Them
We all know that children tend to copy the adults around them.
That’s why it’s important to show them you love reading and make that something you share with them.
Read to your children, goes the classic adage: it holds true even now.
But you should actually go the extra mile and do more than that. More precisely, you should also talk to your children about what you read.
Show them that reading makes you happy and that it’s something you can talk about and bond over. Eventually, you may find them doing the same with you!
Believe it or not, a lot of young readers get started this way nowadays. After all, audiobooks are still books, only read out loud!
Stimulate their interest in a story enough and they may even turn to the written copy of it. Besides, this is something you can do even when in transit, e.g. in the car when travelling. As such, this may be a good way to expose them to literature without forcing traditional books on them straight away.
Turn Books into Experiences
Reading is already an experience, of course. But to further stimulate your child’s interest, try to realise that experience in other ways too.
Show them animals they read about, for instance, at a petting zoo or farm.
Or cook dishes they read about, to help stimulate their interest in the original text.
These are all things that can get them to explore more books in the future. After all, they’ll look forward to discovering new things that you might help them experience in real life that way!
Get Interactive Books
A lot of books actually encourage interaction. For younger readers, it could be as simple as a pop-up or colouring book. For older ones, it could be a choose-your-own-adventure book.
Whatever it is, the point is to add to the excitement they feel when reading, often by immersing them or involving them in the story or world in the text.
Give Them a Reading Nook
If your kids like dinosaurs, give them books on dinosaurs. If they like robots, give them books on robots.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of options out there. More and more books for children are being made on just about every topic conceivable.
The idea is to tie the books to something they already like, to get them to read. This is part of why things like Marvel or DC comic books are so successful: most kids love superheroes. So, why would they turn down a chance to learn more about such characters?
Make a Book Club
When using this technique, keep this in mind: this should be a no-pressure experience.
The club is supposed to be a place where kids get to share and talk about the things they read. It’s not that different from kids talking about the latest developments in their favourite cartoon.
You can join the club yourself or ask other friends if they want their kids to be involved. It turns reading into a highly social activity that can also help children develop opinions and analytical skills too!
Conclusion: Getting Kids to Love the Written Word
When trying out these techniques, what’s important is not to feel daunted.
Remember that most kids already do have extensive exposure to the written word through other media: websites, social media platforms, communications, etc. As such, you aren’t really starting from a difficult place in trying to get them to love this form of the written word.
And remember that you should also try to make sure that their other major experiences with books don’t encourage them to dislike texts. For instance, you should try to ensure that your kids’ experiences with educational books aren’t unpleasant or choked by pressure.
For that, though, you’ll have to rely on “partners” like teachers. Luckily for you, we offer that to parents here at PAL Learning.
To learn more about how we help young ones love books and learning, contact us. We can show you what your kids can get from a PAL education.