Kids who enjoy reading are more likely to grow up to become adults who read regularly for pleasure. And, reading has many benefits for your child; it can improve literacy skills and help your child’s grades improve for high school and college, where regular reading is going to be imperative. But modern habits have taken over, and most kids these days would rather play a game on an iPad than read a book. And while there’s definitely a time and place for technology and educational games, you might want to encourage your child to read more. So, how do you get your kids to pick up more books when they’re more distracted by modern technology? The good news is that there are several things that you can do to encourage good reading habits from an early age.
Use Reading Apps
If your child is constantly glued to their iPad and doesn’t like the idea of picking up a paper book, you can make technology work for you when it comes to encouraging them to read more. Check out some of these best reading apps for kids and take advantage of apps like iBooks or the Kindle App, which you can download to your child’s device to get access to a huge library of suitable books that they will be able to read from their electronics.
Keep Books Where They’re Easy to Reach
Kids are going to be less likely to pick a book up if they are difficult to get to. You should keep your child’s books somewhere that is easy for him or her to reach. Kid-sized bookcases are a great idea or place a few books strategically in easy-to-reach places like on the corner of the coffee table or next to their toy basket. Or you could even place a book you think your child would enjoy on the top of their iPad so they have to pick it up to get to their electronics, which might spark an interest in finding out what the book is about. Either way, your child is more likely to pick a book up and start reading it if it isn’t hidden away on a shelf.
Make Picking Out Books Fun
You might have some great reading ideas for your kids based on books you read yourself as a kid or reviews that you have seen online, but the truth is that if these books aren’t relevant to your child’s interests, he isn’t going to be very interested in them or enjoy reading them very much. Instead, turn a trip to the bookstore or the library into a fun family day out and let your child pick out her own age-appropriate books, even if the titles aren’t very appealing to you personally. Your kid is more likely to be interested in a book and not want to put it down if it makes her laugh or is filled with the things she’s interested in the most.
Create a Reading Nook
If you have some additional space in your home, why not turn it into a cozy reading nook? If your child has a comfortable and safe place that she can curl up with a good book, it will turn reading into an even better, more magical experience. You can go all-out if you want with cushions, blankets, and fairy lights, but remember that it doesn’t need to be Pinterest-worthy. A simple corner of their room with a comfortable chair, some pillows, blankets, and a bookcase or basket of books will make the perfect space.
As your child grows up and doesn’t need you to read to them any longer, it can be all too easy to fall out of the habit of reading together. But you never get too old to enjoy sharing a book together. If reading your child a story before bed is a thing of the past, ask him to read a chapter or two of the book that they’re currently reading to you instead. Or, pick a book that the two of you only read together and take some time at the end of your reading session to discuss the part of the book that you just read.
Start a Reading Challenge
If your child loves challenges for every little thing, he will probably respond to a reading challenge with enthusiasm. You could turn it into a competition for who can read the most of a certain book by the end of the week, or come up with a system of rewards for regular reading. If your child is determined to win the challenge, it won’t be long before reading is a regular habit for them.
Set a Good Example
Your child is unlikely to value reading if you don’t seem to value it yourself. Children follow the examples that they see in their day-to-day life, so if your child sees you reading regularly, they are more likely to do the same. You might even want to start a family reading hour, where everyone gets comfortable with their favorite book.
If you want your child to read more, these ideas can help turn it into a fun experience for them.