How To Get Your Kid To Love Reading

When I was a tot, my parents promised to get a TV only once I was an avid and capable reader. This is probably why I have no siblings – my parents were far too busy teaching me to read. So, at the tender age of 7, I was voraciously reading whatever I could get my hands on. Even when the TV arrived, I would often favour Nancy Drew, Asterix and James Herriot over KTV or Kideo. Now, I’m a writer. My parents got it right! If they wanted a writer, that is.

Reading is about more than keeping your children busy. It’s about imagination, stimulation, exploration, learning and growing. A child that reads is a child that thinks.

Katie is just learning to read and the process is tough. It’s making sense of hieroglyphics and trying to get excited about it. But, it has already started to pay off, and she feels so chuffed with herself when she gets it right. Mommy may need some counselling in patience, but Katie is doing just fine ūüėČ

Here are some ways to get your child to read and to enjoy it:

  • Set the example and read. Share funny or interesting things from your book or magazine with your little ones, piquing a curiosity in them.
  • Make a habit of reading with them (not¬†to them) every ¬†night. This is calming, and encourages them to end their day with a book, instead of with the iPad or tablet. It’s also time spent together, giving them positive associations with reading.
  • If possible, turn the captions / subtitles on when they are watching their favourite movie. Kids learn the words off by heart. Having the visual to complement the audio is a major part of reading development.
  • Make sure that your child has plenty of books available to them. When they are bored, suggest that they read one of these, rather than switching the television on. Creating a little library area for them is a great way to get them excited and make them feel that reading is both personal and important.
  • Play fun literacy games. But, really, make them fun. This can be done on car trips or around the dinner table.
  • Turf (that is, donate) books that your child finds boring, so that they don’t feel that reading is a generally¬†boring thing to do.
  • Make a visit to the library fun. Include¬†ice-cream, if necessary. A child should feel, smell and choose books; not only download them.
  • Include comic books like Asterix or Calvin & Hobbes in your child’s library. Humour and light-hearted fun is a fantastic way to get your child to enjoy reading.
  • Limit their access to technology. From our own experience, we know that hours and hours can fly by while we scroll through Instagram or trawl¬†Facebook. Developing young minds and fine motor skills don’t need these kinds of distractions. They need books.¬†Words. Ideas. Story lines. Plots. Characters. They do.
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7 thoughts on “How To Get Your Kid To Love Reading

  1. I love all your ideas. We are trying hard to raise readers – my 10 year old is a ferocious reader – she reads us into bankruptcy -hence she now has Kindle on her tablet. C is an excellent reader but he does not enjoy reading – this challenge me a lot! L has just learned this year and seem to like reading more than his brother but its still slow going.

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  2. I love this! My niece has no interest in books, until our Speech therapist introduced her to a fascinating storybook as part of her first therapy session. Now she grabs her books at bedtime and prefers to “read” to herself. My son also enjoys Roald Dahl books and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

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  3. Great ideas!

    I have one reader and one non-reader – we have loads of books in our house though! My mom was a librarian so we have all grown up with books ūüôā

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  4. Thanks for this! Love what your mom did as my kids also don’t watch TV and they play non stop! My daughter starts reading next year and I’m so excited for her and the process. As she enters this stage of her life I am becoming much more aware of wanting her to see ME reading books as opposed to being on my phone and so I have started reading more again which I love!

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