Behaviour

Fun Ways to Get Your Kid to Love Reading

Written by Jitin Chawla
Published: May 4, 2023

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Eminent career counsellor and a founder of Centre for Career Development with more than 21 years of experience in mentoring students accross the world.

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Popular American children’s writer Kate DiCamillo said, “Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or a job but as a gift.” No matter how a child feels or what mood they are in, there is always a book to cherish them. 

Over the years, psychologists have suggested a theory called the schema theory of reading, which states that comprehension is about making sense of the text. It is based on the process of using a reader’s existing knowledge to interpret texts to construct meaning. It is one of the most reasonable theories of human processing. It provides that children must read to build their cognitive abilities, such as interpreting sensory data, retrieving information from memory, organising goals, and allocating resources. Reading is a valuable and enjoyable pastime. For some kids, though, it’s not easy to develop this habit. But fret not, for there are plenty of fun ways to start reading and keep the momentum going. In this article, we explore some of the fun ways to get children to enjoy reading:

Create a comfy and fun reading nook: Creating a reading nook is a fun and easy project that can help you transform a corner of your home into an inviting space to relax and read your favourite books. For this, you need to find a suitable space that is quiet, away from distractions, and has comfortable seating as well as good lighting. You can also accessorize the place with soft pillows and bookshelves to give it a personal touch. Creating a special place in your home – much on the lines of a library – will encourage your children to read more often. The reading nook will remind them of books, and the warm ambience will invite them to read comfortably. 

Make reading a social affair: By involving your family members in reading, you can keep yourself motivated and connect with others meaningfully. This way, you can make reading a social experience. The family members’ book preferences will vary, and the discussions will enrich the kids intellectually. Not only is it a great way to learn about different authors and genres but also gets your kids to take to reading. 

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Access a variety of readings: You can encourage a child to read a wide variety of books. Luckily, there are several genres – from fiction and fantasy to poetry, comics, and graphic novels – to choose from. Each category offers something valuable and fun. By delving into diverse reading material, a child, apart from enhancing their knowledge, will also learn about current affairs, history, geography, philosophy, and so much more. 

Use audiobooks: By integrating technology into their reading experience, you can get your kid to take more interest in books and get into the habit of reading. Audiobooks available on platforms like Kindle can be a great way to enjoy books when one does not have the time or energy to read. Several audiobooks are available in the voices of talented actors and artists, and listening to them can make the experience feel more like a performance than just reading a book. 

Set reading goals and rewards: Setting reading goals for a child can motivate them to read more and make it a fun and rewarding experience. Get your child to read a certain number of books per month or year, tackle a particular series, and read books by authors from diverse backgrounds. Setting goals can help your kid stay on track and make reading feel like a game. Remember to reward your kid for accomplishing those goals. This way, they will stay motivated and enjoy the experience even more. 

Let children choose their books: A child is more likely to read and develop a habit when given the independence to pick a book they like because the freedom of choice excites kids. Finding books matching a kid’s interests is critical to developing their reading habit. Whether it’s science fiction, autobiographies, comics, or magazines, there is something out there for every child. Exploring local bookstores and libraries and giving a child an opportunity to gradually discover their reading interests will help them get more out of their experience. 

Lead by example: Children often look up to their parents and teachers as role models, so if they see you reading regularly and enjoying the experience, they are likely to emulate the practice. Set a positive example for a child by letting them into your world of books. Lead by example and let them join in the fun.  

Explore different reading sources: With the advent of technology, hundreds of thousands of books and readings have been digitized, just a click away. They are available online for free through sources like Tumble Books and PDF Drive where you can access as many as 225 million titles. Let your child explore the new-age mediums and sift through these unconventional but contemporary platforms. It will enhance and enrich their reading experience. 

Make connections between reading and life: By establishing a meaningful connection between what your child reads and what they experience in life, you can help them read more often and allow them to live what they read. For example, you can encourage a child to read about adventure trails before making a real-life camping trip. Similarly, you can give them books about dinosaurs and archaeology before a trip to a museum, making their experience even more enjoyable. 

Schedule a reading hour each day: Every day, set aside some reading time for your child. No matter how small that window is, it will contribute to their ability to take up reading as a habit. During this time, you can let your child read a chapter and then ask them what is happening in the book, what their favorite part was, or what they think will happen next. By implementing these ideas consistently, you will keep a child engaged in books. 

Teach reading strategies: Many children dislike reading or fail to develop a habit because they lack essential reading skills. If your child falls in this category, talk to their teacher and work with them to inculcate effective reading strategies. It could make a youngster feel not just confident, but also enthusiastic about reading. Once you have some tips and tricks to try, work with your child to build a sustainable reading habit. 

Read aloud: Reading a book aloud can help a child simplify complex sentences and pronounce seemingly long words with ease. This way, kids learn that reading is synonymous with learning new and exciting things. Moreover, it will help a child understand the nuances of reading, including taking a pause after a comma or a period. Author Barbara Joosse intentionally introduced long Inuit words in her book Mama, Do You Love Me? because she wants kids to expand their vocabulary by picking up new words. 

Conclusion:

By following these steps, you can nurture a child’s reading habits and encourage them to acquire knowledge from all possible sources. These practices, without a doubt, will enhance their personal and academic growth in so many ways. It will set them on a path to success and open many exciting career opportunities. 

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The views expressed are that of the expert alone.

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