How to Encourage Your Child to Read

Shot of a young father reading a book with his daughter

There are many fun and simple ways to instill a love of reading in your child from an early age. From storytelling adventures with easy origami animals for kids, to book-friendly home décor ideas ­– here are a few tips for nurturing your child’s inner bookworm and improving their literacy skills along the way.

Read Yourself

This one’s easy! It’s been said that children who see their parents reading regularly are more likely to read at a higher level, as well as feel more positively towards reading in general. So if you’re a bookworm who loves nothing more than curling up on the couch and getting stuck into a good novel, you’re not only doing yourself a favour – you’re also helping your child.

Make Books Accessible in the Home

If your child is surrounded by books, reading will become second nature! So by the time they reach school age, a big chapter to read for homework will seem like child’s play. In fact, it’s even been suggested before that the more books you have in your home library, the longer your child is likely to stay in education. So the next time someone accuses you of having too many books, you now have a fail-safe reason to prove them wrong.

Talk about Books

If your child already goes to school and can read independently, make it a habit to talk to them at least once a day about what they are reading. This will improve their ability to articulate thoughts, ideas and create the expectation that reading is something you do every day.

Set Up a Reading Area

Reading doesn’t just have to be reserved for bedtime. Create a reading area in your house that’s full of colour and comfy objects. Bean bags, toys and, of course, books can create a positive environment that makes your child look forward to getting into a good story.

Combine Storytelling and Play

Children are rarely short of creative ideas, but they can find it difficult to express those ideas in a coherent story structure. Luckily there are many fun ways of encouraging your child to write creatively without staring at an empty page. Take, for example, the Descriptosaurus books by Alison Wilcox – they are designed to get children to think cinematically about words and images. Using toys and props to create stories is also the ideal activity for any rainy day indoors. Break open the toy chest and help your child come up with adventures for Mr. Teddy and Mr. Potato Head. If you’re really up for a challenge, try this storytelling exercise that will help your child’s dexterity and literacy skills in one go: make all the objects and animals in this easy origami for kids starter kit and come up with a story involving each creation. You’ll be amazed at what your child will come up with!

Use E-Books

Long gone are the days of paper-only books. In fact for adult and children alike, the majority of what we read is now on a screen. While it might not be as beneficial as a good old-fashioned paperback, the sheer prevalence of tablets, phones, and computers means that reading on a screen is becoming increasingly unavoidable. What’s more, it might even encourage your child to read! If your little one isn’t fussed about print books, you might want to read stories using an iPad – the shiny, touch-screen features might just be enough to get them involved.

So there you have it – just a few ideas to increase your child’s enjoyment of reading. Why not try one? The next time it’s raining outside, you could check out those easy origami animals for kids, create a reading den, or even simply enjoy some eBook bonding time… they’ll be little bookworms before you know it!

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