How to get your kids to read: Essential tips for parents

The goal is not just to teach them to read but to instil in them a love for reading that will accompany them into adulthood

by Shireen Shahnas

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Published: Tue 10 Oct 2023, 4:05 PM

Cultivating a reading habit in children is an investment in their intellectual and emotional development. In the fast-paced digital age, developing a love for reading in children is a gift that transcends generations. Developing a reading habit not only enhances their cognitive abilities but also sparks creativity and empathy.

Here are some tips.

1. Start early: Introduce books to children from a young age. Even infants benefit from exposure to colourful board books with simple pictures. Reading aloud to babies creates positive associations with books.

2. Be a reading role model: Children often imitate the behaviour of adults. Let them see you reading regularly. Whether it's a novel, magazine, or newspaper, your reading habits will influence theirs.

3. Choose age-appropriate books: Select books that align with the child's age and interests. Young children are captivated by vibrant illustrations and simple narratives, while older kids may enjoy more complex stories.

4. Incorporate reading into daily routine: Establish a consistent reading time as part of the daily routine. Whether it's before bedtime, after school, or during quiet time, having a predictable reading slot helps make it a habit.

5. Make it interactive: Encourage interaction during reading sessions. Ask questions about the story, characters, or illustrations. This not only enhances comprehension but also makes the experience more engaging.

6. Visit the library: Take regular trips to the library. Let children explore the vast array of books available and choose ones that pique their interest. Library visits create a sense of excitement around reading.

7. Introduce a variety of genres: Expose children to different genres and topics. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and graphic novels offer diverse perspectives and cater to varied interests.

8. Use technology wisely: Leverage digital tools to complement traditional books. Interactive e-books, audiobooks, and educational apps can add a dynamic dimension to the reading experience.

9. Organise reading challenges: Create reading challenges or goals. This could be a certain number of books to finish in a month or exploring books from different cultures. Celebrate their achievements to reinforce the habit.

10. Be patient and supportive: Every child develops at their own pace. Be patient and supportive, avoiding pressure or negative associations with reading. Make it a joyful and positive experience.


Shireen Shahnas

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