What makes a child love reading? What makes anyone do anything? Fun.
Carving out time in one’s busy day for reading might seem difficult. But after 30 days–the time it takes to establish a new habit–you’ll find more time for making reading fun. Start your child on a reading adventure.
Pair Reading with Good Times
- Have a family reading time after meals.
- Have one member of the family read aloud as the rest do the dishes.
- Do a reading night with popcorn and blankets, instead of movie night.
- Plan play activities that involve books-picnics, crafts, or science projects.
- Let them ‘read’ stories to their dolls or younger siblings.
- Play reading games such as crossing items off the shopping lists, putting name-tags around the house, playing store.
Keep Your Booklist Fresh
- Take outings to the bookstore and library.
- Ask for books as gifts. Let the gifter know your child’s favorite animals, hobbies and passions so they can find the perfect book.
- Use MP3 downloads or CDs for read-alouds. Audio books build vocabulary. Just make sure you choose unabridged instead of abridged books. (Condensed books don’t have the books’ real flavor.)
- Buy cheap books at garage sales and flea markets.
- Make a little library in their room or on a bookshelf.
Read to Captivate
- Use different voices for characters in books. Act out exciting passages. Pretend to be the character in a book.
- If your child loses interest in a book, wrap it up quickly.
- Don’t make reading time “teaching” time. No vocabulary lessons.
- Immerse children in fiction and non-fiction. (Some children are not interested in make believe.)
- Be willing to read a favorite over and over again.
- Let your child participate as much as possible in reading. Let him finish the sentence, read the pictures, take turns reading, etc.
- Let your children see you read in the house, in the park, anywhere!
- Read to your child every day.
Karen Hokanson Miller – Karen is a reading specialist, children’s author, and mother of four formerly reluctant readers.