Reading requires silence, intense concentration, and a prolonged period spent quietly in the same position.
All things that most children find incredibly boring.
Some children naturally enjoy reading, and never have to be coerced into taking up the habit.
For others, i.e., the majority, they would rather be doing anything else.
As a parent, you understand the importance of raising children who know how to read.
And the best way to do that is to make reading fun for kids.
They need reading skills to integrate with their society and make the best of the resources available to them. However, it’s not easy to explain the importance of this skill to a child.
What you can do is make reading more appealing to them.
This way, they choose it as a habit and make the personal effort to do it more.
Do you have an infant who you want to set on the reading path early?
Or are you hoping to change the mind of your child, who is firmly against reading?
Below are 12 practices that make reading fun for them.
12 Practices to Make Reading Fun for Kids
Choose books on your child’s interests
If a child is not interested in the topic of the story, they may not stick with it for too long.
Once your child starts to show the ability to prefer one thing over the other, give them some room for decision making.
When you go to buy books, take them along with you.
If they choose a book, then they may show more excitement towards reading it than something you picked out.
When you go book shopping, seek out the sections with books in their areas of interest.
If your kid loves trucks and plays with a lot of truck toys, buy them books like ‘Vroom Vroom, Trucks’ by Karen Katz.
They love animals?
There are several children’s books about animal stories.
If they love princesses and fairies, indulge those interests.
To build a habit of reading, they have to practice it for long periods over and over again.
You can make the process easier by providing books that are sure to hold their attention.
2. Choose picture books
In the learning period where children are still trying to connect words with context, picture books are very helpful.
Picture books provide a representation of what the story is saying in visual form. This makes it easier for kids to follow along.
Even if they don’t understand every word, they can still follow the story by looking at the pictures.
This alone keeps them engaged because they become interested in seeing how the story plays out.
Picture books also provide a visual appeal that humans, in general, enjoy.
While buying picture books, I recommend you go for the ones with animated visuals.
They often use colors and drawing styles that are attention-grabbing for kids.
3. Bring the story to life with acting
A lot of children’s books use short sentences to build dialogue and tell the story.
However, children don’t fully grasp the concept of dialogue even though they engage in it every day.
So if you’re reading such a story to them in a monotonous voice, they may not understand the conversations happening in the book.
You can act out the story to improve their understanding and make the reading session fun.
Adopt a new voice and facial expressions for every character.
If the character is scary, act the same and try to spook them.
If the role is a grandma, put on your best grandma voice.
Children love a good laugh, and they’ll be begging you to go on even after you’ve finished your reading material for the day.
You can also bring them in on the fun by giving them a character to play. You can both read your lines when it’s your turn and have a blast.
4. Leave reading materials everywhere
You know what kids do when they’re bored?
They’ll go through the entire house looking for something to satisfy their curious minds.
You can take advantage of this nature and pull their interest towards reading.
Do this by leaving reading materials everywhere.
This could include their own children’s books, magazines, coffee table books, newspapers, and so on.
Of course, ensure that these reading materials are children-friendly.
Choose reading materials that have a lot of pictures in them.
The images may draw them in, but at some point, they’ll have to pay attention to the words.
A lot of children are interested in the exaggerated drawing of comic books but still follow the storyline completely.
5. Set a reading time- without making it too constricting
If you want to make reading a habit for kids, it needs to find time in their routine.
Set a time for reading. This is important because kids and their daily activities are unpredictable.
If you don’t dedicate a specific time to reading, then you have to work through every day to create a chance.
This method can be challenging and doesn’t sound sustainable in the long run.
When you have reading hours, it becomes easier to schedule everything else around that time.
While setting a reading time, ensure that you don’t make it seem like work.
Reading time should be something exciting that your kids look forward to.
It could mean that you all get to sit outside (if they enjoy that), or they get a sweet reading-time treat.
Use things that are specific to your family to make reading hours a lot easier to go through.
Also, excitement is contagious, so make sure to show plenty of it.
6. Make reading fun for kids by reading a series
Reading can be an adventure.
With book series, you can hold your kid’s attention and stretch out that adventure.
And that can make reading fun for kids.
Try out books that are part of a series.
Get your child interested in characters and build their excitement to read more on those characters.
This strategy works best when you’re reading books around things that interest them.
For example, since the 1930s, kids who love superheroes have religiously followed comic books.
There are also fantasy-inspired children series that are widely read.
These may not be the only books that you want your child to read, but it’s a great place to start.
Series will also help you reduce the struggle of finding the next book to read.
With a few select authors, you can stock up on enough reading materials to last through some months.
7. Relate the stories to real life
This practice is great for helping children build their comprehension skills.
For example, let’s assume that you’re reading a book about a bear family with your child.
You can show them how the bear parents and bear children are similar to your own family.
You can also use books to build their excitement for other activities.
If your child is yet to resume kindergarten, read books about life in school.
If you’re getting ready for Christmas, read Christmas books to them.
Doing this begins their process of turning to books for information.
For example, before you take them camping for the first time, you can read a children’s book on camping.
When you practice this a lot, children will begin to learn that books can teach them about everything.
They could start asking for books on different experiences without any prompts from you.
8. Create a cozy reading area
The right environment can also improve a child’s willingness to read.
If you have enough room space, set out a cozy reading area.
Add comfortable chairs, bean bags, or throw in a bunch of pillows.
Ensure that the area has proper lighting.
You can even cut it off from the main living area to add a cozy feel.
Make going into the reading area feel like adventure time.
A reading area will also help to put them in the mindset of ‘reading time’ once they walk in.
This way, they can ignore all distractions and focus on the story of the day.
9. Read everyday
Reading, like every other skill, needs to be developed through consistent practice.
Daily reading sessions will help your child strengthen this skill.
Start with 20-minute sessions.
This is enough time for them to settle down, focus, and get through a significant amount of sentences.
When you start, ask them to read aloud.
You want to be sure that they are reading, not looking over the pages.
As time goes on, encourage them to read for longer.
If your child is genuinely enjoying the reading material, they won’t need this cue.
However, if they still struggle with daily reading, reevaluate your strategy.
Ask them what their specific problem with reading might be.
If they don’t find the books interesting, explore new topics and genres.
If they are struggling with the words and sentences, you may want to get involved by helping them practice.
Assigning a daily reading session is just one part of the work.
You have to ensure that each session is a productive one.
10. Make reading fun for kids with your own stories
Once in a while, ask your child to make up stories for the reading session.
They don’t have to write it down.
They just need to tell it in the most creative way possible.
This exercise is essential for a couple of reasons.
First, it tests your child’s comprehension of the stories they’ve been reading.
For example, if they’ve been reading animal books, they should be able to come up with a basic story involving their favorite animals.
This would show that they understand how the words they’ve been reading string together to form a storyline.
The second reason is that making their own stories gives kids a chance to use all the new words they’ve been learning.
By listening to their stories, you can evaluate their language skills.
You also hear how they use words in context and make corrections when needed.
Coming up with their own stories will also teach them to recognize and appreciate a good book.
11. Visit the library often
Kids are natural explorers, which makes libraries an excellent place for them.
The library is the only place where you are free to look through as many books as you want.
When you take your kids there, you expose them to more reading materials than you can afford to bring home.
They can find books on almost every topic, and truly discover what they enjoy reading.
If your local library has a children’s librarian, you have a better advantage.
They can recommend books that have been winners with other kids.
Some children’s librarians also organize reading activities to get children more excited in books.
Introducing your child to this environment at an early age could set the pace for their future reading habits.
12. Be an exemplary teacher
Does your child try to copy everything you do?
Use that to your advantage.
If you’re teaching your child to be a reader, you should be one too.
Show, by example, that reading is a fun activity.
Make reading a daily activity.
Set out time to sit in the quiet and read.
Invite your child to join you.
Sometimes, seeing you take action is all the convincing they need.
Eager to get started?
Here’s a quick recap of the 12 practices to make reading fun for kids.
- Choose books on your child’s interests
- Choose picture books
- Bring the story to life with acting
- Leave reading materials everywhere
- Set a reading time- without making it too constricting
- Read a series
- Relate the stories to real life
- Create a cozy reading area
- Read everyday
- Make your own stories
- Visit the library often
- Be an exemplary teacher
Don’t forget to take them along during the planning stages.
Ask them about their topics of interest.
Let them pick out the books they want, even if it’s solely for the colorful paperbacks.
Set up your reading area together.
Allow your kids to discover and express themselves through reading.
Reading is a life-long habit that we can all enjoy.
Don’t be too concerned about pushing your kids to hit milestones.
Everyone learns at their own pace, and that’s okay.
Instead, help them develop their love for good stories and reading as an activity.
As long as they enjoy the process, their literary skills will develop naturally.
And if you would like to speed up the process, then this may be of interest.
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