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5 tips to encourage your child to read more

Posted on 22 October 2018

Reading is a vital part of your child’s development and is a great way to spark their imagination. The ideal way to introduce reading into your child’s life is to read to them from a young age, as they absorb what you’re saying even if they don’t understand it yet. Research by scientists over twenty years has revealed that being surrounded by books in early childhood is responsible for positive effects on children well into their late teens.

Reading aloud encourages kids to get involved and start learning to read. The earlier it’s introduced the better. The busy lives we all lead mean that it can be tempting to sit your child in front of the TV or distract them with another electronic device, but these activities don’t allow you to bond in the way sharing a story does.

Setting aside a time every day to cuddle up and read a story together is a great way to engage and connect with your child whilst they learn at the same time. Once they become confident enough to express themselves, you can do more than just read a bed time story as your child becomes able to tell you what they’d like to read and begin reading aloud too.

Starting with small picture books is a great way to build children’s interest and many of them are specially made with soft edges, interactive pop-up flaps or material to enhance their senses. Once your child becomes accustomed to reading, you can start to create a home library and they can choose for themselves – encouraging individual preferences and allowing you to buy books you know they’ll enjoy.

If you don’t have space for books or you’d like to provide your child with a sociable environment, your local library is a great place to go. Many of them have story time sessions or a special reading corner where your child can make friends as well as learn!

It’s not easy to know where to start, so we’ve got five top tips to get your child reading more:

  1. Ask your child to read to you! They’ll most likely enjoy the responsibility and the role reversal. Most kids are proud to be able to read on their own.
  2. Use more than books. Reading books is what you’re aiming for, but if they don’t seem interested, try asking them to read the shopping list or leave little notes for them to find around the house!
  3. Act out the story! The fun doesn’t have to stop after the book is finished – tell your child you’d love to see them act out a scene from their favourite book.
  4. Create a sticker chart. Rewarding your child every time they finish a book using a sticker chart is a great way to motivate them! Rewards could be a fun day out or a new toy.
  5. Encourage them to talk. Ask your child questions about the book they’re reading or if they’ve finished it, ask them what they liked and disliked about it. 

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