Remember that feeling of bringing home a new book from the library and spending hours with it? The written word can inspire you so much and even teach you something every time. In this age of social media, we need to pass our love for the written word to our kids and make them realise why it's fantastic to patiently flip through pages, and live some moments in our imagination.
If you’ve ever wondered how to get your kids interested in reading books, well, here are some tried and tested ways that might help you achieve your goal and your kids reach for books in a quiet corner.
1. Create A Reading Space
Imagine a place that's calm and quiet, one where kids can sit for hours reading about their favourite character's adventures and be lost in a story so wonderful that stimulates their mind and imagination. Have a designated place for reading: Create a cosy nook or a corner for your children, filled with books they enjoy. Once they locate a fun place for reading, they will keep going back to it for more. Wisest thing someone advised me was to surround the kids with books. As long as they see books around them, they will keep picking them up.
2. Pick Up A Book Yourself
Children learn more by watching us. So, pick up your favourite book and get reading. You kids will be more receptive to the idea of reading books when they see you do it. Discuss interesting children’s book characters with them and what they thought about them. Plan activities around the book. You can even conduct a storytelling session for your kids and their friends to make it more fun.
3. Set Aside Time For Reading
Sometimes in our house, we all gather as a family and pick our favourite book to read. While we do not nudge or expect the kids to sit and read with us, the idea is to inculcate a habit in them to at least pick any book and flip a couple of pages. In fact, we keep colouring storybooks for them, so they can do an activity which helps them increase their concentration level.
4. Read First, Watch Later
A lot of kids books are now made into major motion pictures and parents prefer to take their kids to the theatre. Try introducing the book on which the movie is based to your kids first and then watch the movie. This will help you as your child will know what to expect from the movie and it'll indeed make for an interesting discussion later.
5. Visit A Library
Make visits to libraries. If you don’t have one near your house, visit a children’s bookstore and let them pick a book that they'd enjoy. Make the visit even more interesting by talking about what a fascinating place a bookstore can be.
6. Gift Books
Books are very thoughtful gifts as they have the power to transport one to a different world. So, the next time you want to buy your kids a new toy, stop and buy a book and watch your child’s imagination grow ten folds. (P.S. You may have to read it to them before they really develop a reading habit.)
7. Start Early
It has been proved that reading to infants does help them recognise sounds, letters and help develop their early language skills. Picture books are a great way to introduce reading to your infants. Read to them as often as you can as it is also a great way to bond with your little one.
8. Make It A Choice, Not A Chore!
Introduce a variety of books and other reading material to your children. Let them be guided by their interests as they grow. Be there to suggest books to them; however, respect their choice and what intrigues them. Do not force them to read.