Encouraging Our Children To Love Reading. Hello everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing a guest post from Isabell Fisher. Isbell is a former teacher and co-founder of Little Hands Learning. Little Hands Learning is an educational and eco-friendly subscription box for children aged three to six years. She will be sharing ten easy and fun ways to encourage a love of reading in our children. Reading and creating a love of books is one of the main ways to support your children’s learning and mental health at home. So as parents/carers, what can we do to encourage a love of reading?
Encouraging Our Children To Love Reading
In 2002 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found that reading for pleasure is the single most significant indicator of success in life, much more than family circumstances, educational background, or income. In addition, research by Dr David Lewis at the University of Sussex demonstrated that reading for just six minutes a day can reduce stress by up to 60%. That same study showed that reading was more effective in reducing stress than going for a walk, having a cup of tea and screen time!
So as parents/carers, what can we do to encourage a love of reading in our children? Here are 10 top tips to encourage children to fall in love with books and become lifelong readers:
Bring Stories To Life
You can do this by using funny voices and changing your tone to suit the story. Furthermore, stories can also inspire small world play and craft activities. By creating activities linked to the book, the book can come to life and help children deepen their understanding of the story and, therefore, their love it. If you need some inspiration for book-inspired activities, visit the Little Hands Learning website, where there is a massive bank of easy activity ideas to try with your children that help bring a whole variety of books to life.
Start Young And Don’t Stop
It is never too young to start reading with your children. It is, in fact, essential to start reading to our little ones from a very young age as even the youngest babies will find comfort in hearing your voice as you read a story.
Just because our older children can read to themselves doesn’t mean that we should stop reading to them. Reading to your older children educationally is beneficial, but it is also a great way to spend quality time together.
Find time each day to read and make it part of your daily routine. By reading daily to your children, you will be starting them on their journey of becoming lifelong readers. However, this doesn’t mean just reading at bedtime or when a reading book is sent home from school. At Little Hands Learning, our aim is that children see reading as an enjoyable way to spend their time. So why not try a lazy Sunday morning spent reading in bed?
Go With What They Like
Use their interests when choosing books. If your little one loves trains, dinosaurs or fairies, then read stories that feature them. Read high-quality books that will enthral your children and expose them to a rich vocabulary. If you struggle to find the time to research high-quality books, a book subscription will do the hard work for you.
Try Something New
If your child does not enjoy storybooks, try reading magazines, comics and non-fiction books. These types of literature are an excellent way to draw children in with their illustrations, short-form text and facts. Book subscriptions can also help with this by sending different types of books so that you and your children can try something different every month.
Explore Wordless Books With Your Children
Being a reader is so much more than being able to read words on a page. Children learn to read images and retell stories long before they can read terms on a page. Wordless books are great for children of all ages; they are perfect for older children who need to work on their comprehension and storytelling skills. Younger children can focus on the illustrations and retell the story from what they can see. These types of books will boost a child’s confidence as a reader. Some fantastic wordless picture books are works of art and don’t look too young. For example, Hike by Pete Oswald is a great book to start with.
You and your children are never too old for picture books. There is a perception that picture books are just for younger children, but there are so many picture books written with older children in mind. Picture books promote reading for pleasure and are an excellent way to deal with sensitive and complex topics like mental health, conflict and self-esteem. This is because sharing a picture book with your child will lead to amazing conversations as you interpret the text and illustrations together.
Big Up Books
Be enthusiastic about reading, as this will rub off on your child. If you treasure books and are excited about reading them, your children will want to read more. I appreciate this isn’t always possible, but children copy the adults around them. So, if you can sit down and read a book – your children will copy you.
Make Books Visible And Accessible
Your child should be able to choose a book whenever they want. A basket of books which sits next to their toys or lowdown shelving containing books will encourage children to help themselves to a book instead of the iPad throughout the day. If you are worried about your child ripping the books, buy material or thick board books. And, to be honest, the sticky tape can always fix a torn page.
Read In Different In Settings
Reading shouldn’t just happen on the sofa or in bed. Reading in unusual places to suit the setting in the story is another beautiful way to bring stories to life. If you read a book about a gnome that lives in a cave, build a shelter in the living room and read the story there. If you are reading a book set in the forest, find a shady spot under a tree to enjoy the book with your children.
Create Excitement Around The Arrival Of A New Book
Signing up for a book subscription is a great way to create that excitement, as the postman delivers a new ‘present’ every month. But if that’s not possible, perhaps make it a monthly treat that you go out to look for a new book together.
I hope you enjoyed that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Isabell Fisher is co-founder of Little Hands Learning, an educational and eco-friendly subscription box for children aged three to six years. Every month your child will receive an exciting gift in the post containing a beautiful picture book and everything needed for four engaging and fun activities.
The play-based activities are handcrafted and designed by teachers to focus on critical areas of the National Curriculum. Together with the activities, the curated books help nurture healthy minds and encourage early literacy skills, giving children the best start in their education. www.littlehandslearning.co.uk