Giving your child the gift of reading is the best present in the world for a number of reasons. Not only is it a great way to improve their vocabulary and oral skills, it also gives them valuable tools for their education path as well. While children may be happy simply staring at their social media feeds, they’ll get much more satisfaction out of a good book, and if you can tailor their reading to areas that interest them then you’ve taken the first step to giving them permission to switch off the internet and pick up a book. Children who read from an early age are more likely to be critical thinkers with creative imaginations, so if you want to give your children the best start in life, here are the best ways to encourage your children to start reading.
Read to them
No matter how old they may be, reading to your child is a great way to spend some quiet time together, bonding as you enjoy the stories. Even for older children, the time that you spend with them will be extraordinarily helpful when it comes to their school engagement. The best way to make the most of reading time is to use a variety of styles. Pick the classics, choose something new, tailor the book to their interests and you’ll be stretching their imaginations more than they will ever get from Facebook status updates.
Try different media
If your child is a little ambivalent when it comes to picking up a book, there are ways to encourage it. One of the best ways is to try them on different media, and with the vast number of book to film adaptations available, you won’t be struggling over choices. With strong female role models in The Hunger Games, to stories of bravery and determination in Lord of the Rings, the possibilities are endless. If cinema doesn’t appeal, then take advantage of Ticket Sales and take your Harry Potter fan to see the latest stage show, and you might find that they have a renewed interest in exploring these imaginative worlds further.
Let them experiment
You may have hopes that your child will be picking up a Dickens novel or something by Dostoevsky, but if your force-guide your child’s reading habits then the chances are that you will discourage them and they may start to see reading as a chore rather than a pleasure. Instead, let them read at their own level and in the formats that they want. If they want to pick up some graphic novels from the library, don’t disparage the medium, and instead express an interest in their thoughts afterward. Your enthusiasm and respect for their opinions will no doubt bond you closer, but also encourage them to try harder and more complex forms of literature.
Reading is a precious gift that will give your children a lifetime of exploring new worlds, empathizing with strangers, and inspiring their creativity. Even if you’re not a reader yourself, working together to improve both of your reading habits will be a gift that lasts a lifetime.