Without a reading habit, children simply lack imagination.
In this technology-driven world, it is easier to get fascinated with tabs than to get familiar with books. To get kids in the habit of reading can be exhausting for some parents, especially, if you are not a reader yourself.
Reading is a habit that is developed with time, patience, and perseverance. To some kids, reading comes naturally because they have seen a parent digged in books for hours enjoying their reading time. Such kids are an asset to the parent on busy workdays. Give them a storybook and you don’t have to worry about them as long as the book can engage them.
Children are great imitators. They will do as they see you doing. So give them a good visual to follow.
O’ No, no, certainly no, you don’t have to grab a book and pretend to read it every time your kid is around. However, if you run away from books, it is unrealistic to want your child to become a good reader. But the good news is there is still hope! So don’t give up.
Here are a few simple tips to hook your child to books and cultivate a healthy reading habit:
1) Set a time for reading. Kids love their routine. So it’s best to read together at the same time every day. It could be either 20 minutes before bedtime or any other preferred time comfortable to you and your baby.
2) Read aloud their favourite books again and again.
3) Encourage your child to join in and help turn the pages at the right time.
4) Kid’s storybooks have a lot of pictures. Talk about what they see in the given image. But also make it clear that the story stays the same every time you read. Make sure to read the story from the print and not the pictures.
5) Draw their attention to unusual or interesting words. Explain to them the meaning of those words. This practice is helpful to build their vocabulary.
6) Read alphabet books. Take turns to guess other words that begin with the same sound.
7) Sing nursery rhymes from the rhyme books together.
8) Draw their attention to environmental print. For example, the sign that says, STOP, NO PARKING, EXIT, SCHOOL AHEAD. Once the child is familiar with these words you can play it like a game whenever outdoors. Like, ‘who will find the word ‘PARK’ for me?’
9) Create a cosy little reading corner at home for your child. Add her/his favourite books and soft toys too. You can ask her/him to read a story to the bunny or the kitty or the monkey.
10) Praise about your child’s reading skills to other family members. It will boost their confidence. And who does not like to flaunt their special talent?
Inculcating reading habit in kids can be tiring and you should be ready to hear ‘no mommy, I don’t like to read books’ endlessly for days. My advice, stay calm and stay on it!
I am raising two young readers 11 and 8. I am a bookworm so it was easy to introduce my elder one to books and have a reading routine. But the younger one was a task. She started reading when she was 5. Now at 8, she is reading series - Dork Diaries, Tom Gates and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. This in itself seems like an achievement.
She is brilliant at getting the characters from the book to life simply with the way she describes them.
Both of them have a good grasp over vocabulary. And my son (11) is getting better at making his own stories. Books have been a positive influence on my kids.
It may seem like a mission impossible at first. But once you start a routine of reading books to your child you will realize that love of books is one way of many to enlarge your child’s world.
Enjoy reading books together. This time shall pass sooner than you know.
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