Reading has many wonderful benefits for young kids, like boosting their imagination and creativity, enhancing their learning abilities, and helping them develop language, communication, and writing skills. But, in this increasingly technological era, kids may find their gadgets a lot more interesting than books so they may miss out on what reading good stories can do for them. If you’re struggling getting your kids to pick up a book, here are some ways to encourage them to drop the smartphones and read!
Set a good example by reading in front of your child. Kids take cues from adults, especially from their parents. When they see you reading and pick up on how much you enjoy it, this encourages them to appreciate reading as well. You could also pique their interest some more by talking about your favorite topics from articles you’ve read, telling them about the most exciting parts of a book you’re reading, or sharing what you think will happen next in the story. You could also set some time to read together.
Creating a quiet, cozy nook will make reading more appealing for your kids. You could simply grab some bean bag chairs, blankets, and a variety of reading materials. Another fun idea is creating a themed reading nook. If your family loves going to the beach, you could decorate your nook with beach towels. You could also prop up a small tent if your kids are into camping. Feel free to make your reading nook as comfy and as imaginative as you want it to be!
Having a wide collection of reading materials from books to magazines can keep your kids more interested. You don’t have to limit the genres to fairytales or fiction because there are a lot of age-appropriate reading materials out there, like science books, cookbooks for kids, comics, and so much more! You can also check out local publishing houses such as Adarna House or Lampara Books for some of the best Filipino children’s book titles. Local stories can help teach your kids more about important traditional values and Filipino culture and history.
Don’t be afraid to try out different things because once your child finds that they’re interested in a particular topic, they’ll want to read more about it. Getting them hooked on a series is also a fun way to make them read consistently. They’ll want to know what else is in store for their favorite characters and what will happen next in upcoming adventures.
Make connections between what you read and your child’s own experiences by relating lessons from stories to real life scenarios. A lot of children’s stories are centered on values and morals they can apply to their day-to-day lives. So, help them see how they can do just that! Check in and ask questions about what they’re reading. You can ask your kids about their favorite characters, for example, and what they would do if they were in that character’s situation.
Encourage a daily habit of reading. You can set a schedule of one hour of reading a day or a rule for finishing a new book once a month. After doing homework, reading can be a good downtime activity before going to bed. The whole family can read together during weekends, too. That way your kids can also associate reading with relaxation instead of thinking of it as a chore. To make things more interesting, you could even come up with a family reading challenge where each family member aims to complete a series, finish a certain number of books, or reach the highest log of reading hours. Once you’ve achieved your reading goal, the entire family could go on a road trip or watch a movie together as a reward!
Another challenge could be inventing a list of reading categories and ticking them off one by one. Prepare a family reading list with categories such as “books mom loves,” “books about quests,” “books on the bestseller list,” and anything else you can think of. This is a great way to encourage everyone in the family to explore different genres and reading materials together. At the end of the year, you can tally how many books you’ve read and see what you’ve accomplished on your reading list.
With a more creative approach, you can definitely get your kids to see that reading can be fun and interesting. Try out these tips or put your own spin on them to get your kids reading!