If your family is anything like mine, reading a book isn’t the first thing your child chooses to do when they get bored. I knew that we needed to make some changes if our children were going to embrace reading and become lifelong readers. The following 5 ideas that we implemented have given us positive results in our home so I wanted to share them with you.
Build it into your schedule ~ This may be the single most important step that you can take. Children love schedules, predictability, and routine. A very impactful step in getting them to read more is to build reading into their schedule. For us, reading time is between baths and teeth brushing right before bed. Quiet time reading is a good way to wind down before bedtime. When they understood the predictable schedule each night the complaining ceased, and the routine began.
Monkey see – monkey do ~ Children that grow up seeing their parents read for fun, will read for fun themselves. Whether you read books, magazines, or blogs they are watching and learning from you. A great way to implement this one is to read when they do during your daily quiet reading time.
Don’t forget to read out loud to them ~ Even if your children are old enough to read to themselves it is still a great idea to read out loud as quality family time. Our children vary in age range and we find that classics like Grimm’s Fairy Tales keep everyone in the family engaged and interested.
Bring books to life ~ Our children read more when they are reading books on topics of interest. Taking your children on interesting outings or trips can spark an interest for them on a variety of topics. If your toddler likes books about farm animals take a trip to a local farm to see them in person. If your child likes to read about dinosaurs, a trip to a museum may be a great reinforcement.
Create a cozy reading nook ~ Choose an area in your home that is the designated reading nook. Comfy furniture, blankets, lighting, shelves, and a variety of books will make this area appealing to be in. For smaller kids I recommend a fort or tent that lets their imaginations to run wild!