Karabo Mokoena
2 minute read
20 May 2021
10:41 am

How to get your children to read

Karabo Mokoena

Knowledge is power and books serve as a wonderful source of knowledge. So how, can parents encourage their children to read more?

Reading out loud for a child is a great stimulus. Picture: iStock

Books, for both children and adults, are the biggest source of learning and acquiring knowledge, but how do you get your children to read?

Books help paint a picture of a completely different world for the reader. For children, books can help them make sense of the world around them and teach them new concepts.

Reading out loud to kids also helps improve their vocabulary and cognitive skills.

Not every child enjoys reading books. Some may find it too hard or boring.

If this is the case and your child picks up a book now and again or not at all, you could try these tips to help cultivate a love for reading.

Schedule read-aloud time

Time may be a difficult thing for busy parents, but ten to 30 minutes of reading a book out loud for your child can make all the difference. Reading out loud not only provides enjoyment for the kids but also strengthens their vocabulary and the connection between parent and child.

Model good reading habits

It is a known fact that children do what their parents do and not what they say. Trying to encourage a child to read when you don’t do so will be difficult. When they see you taking time to read and enjoy a book, it might encourage them to follow suit, even without your instruction.

Create a reading space

This can be a small designated area for reading that is comfortable for your children. It could be in their room or a common area but designated for reading. This will encourage your kids to learn to wind down with a book when they are up for it.

ALSO READ: Ten bookshelf must-haves for 2021 

Get age-appropriate books

Make sure the books you buy for your children are in alignment with their age. If the books are too advanced for their age, they will not enjoy it and get discouraged from reading. Picture and rhyme books are perfect for younger kids as heavy text ones are not.

Align the books with your child’s interests

What hobbies are your children into? What is their favourite thing to do at the moment? Rest assured there is a book relating to your child’s favourite thing. When the book relates to something your child enjoys, then they will surely enjoy reading it as well.

Visit the library

Visiting your local library will also provide larger access to books for your child. They will also have a variety of books to choose from and give you an idea of what they enjoy versus what they don’t. It is also a great way to bond and connect with your children outside the home.

Cultivating a long life of reading starts young and when done right, a love of reading will lead to a more creative, imaginative and disciplined child.