Helping your child(ren) to enjoy reading is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. Reading opens the doors to knowledge and is a pathway to lifelong learning.
Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or a duty. It should be offered as a gift.
So how do you inspire a love of reading in your child(ren)?
1. Start reading to your child early.
I started reading to my child from the day he was born. It may seem strange reading to someone who doesn’t understand; however, research has shown that early reading helps stimulate a child’s brain and helps form neural connections.
For babies, start with sensory books as these captivate your child’s attention, and helps his or her language development and social interaction. The “That’s Not My” Series is one of my favourite sensory books for babies. Don’t be afraid to try different voices and show off your acting skills – not only will you build your child’s imagination, but you will also create bonding moments. As your child gets older, opt for books with colourful drawings and pictures of people. ❤
2. Read to your child often.
The easiest way to do this is by creating a routine. Choose to read either every evening before bed or just after dinner or whatever time suits you. Personally, I do a bedtime routine – my son cannot go to bed without us reading two books every night. We keep up this routine even when we go away on holiday.
Get your child(ren) involved by getting them to pick the books that they want; this way, you know they will concentrate on the story. 🙂
3. Read the book, then watch the movie.
Nothing will prepare you for the exciting look on your child(ren)’s face when they see their book characters come to life! 🙂 Movie experiences help with imagination and will help increase their interest in books.
We love all Julia Donaldson’s books, and you can watch a few of her classics for free on BBC iPlayer. Writing this brings back memories from Christmas – little man and I cuddled up on the sofa watching ‘Stick man’ and ‘Zog’ over and over again.
If you’re in the UK, you can watch some of our favourites using the links below:
The Gruffalo’s Child
You can also opt to watch stage plays instead of movies. Google is your best friend when it comes to searching for events in your local area.
4. Leave books all over the house.
Yes, I can see some parents rolling their eyes and thinking of the mess that could create.
“Surrounding kids with books at an early age gets them hooked”
– Alice Sterling Honig, Ph.D.
Building a library is not as expensive as people think. I’ve found good quality books in charity shops/charity sales for a pound. The Book People also sell books at lower prices than high street stores. Alternatively, you can ask relatives who have older children to pass down children’s books to you.
5. Ask your child(ren) questions.
This only applies when your child(ren) can talk. Ask them to tell you the story using their own words. Ask who their favourite character is; not only does this help with vocabulary, but it also helps to enhance comprehension skills. As a bonus, you’ll get a good laugh. 🙂
Remember, you don’t need to put a timeline on how long you should be reading to your child(ren). As long as they are happy to listen, then keep reading. There are days we’ve read 5 books in one sitting. Do I get tired? Yes, I do; but I don’t stop because cultivating a good reading habit for my child is important to me.
Does your child enjoy reading? Please share tips in the comments on how you got them to love literature.
7 thoughts on “Getting your child to love reading.”
Yessss I agree with all these! I also encourage trips to the library if you have access to one. I do it often with my kids and the love the whole experience. Thanks for sharing! 💛
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Library trips is another great tip!! ANother way for kids to immerse themselves in books 🙂
Mum to a 22 month old and can totally relate to reading 5 books in one sitting. We read multiple times to her everyday, and she spurs us on by threatening to throw a tantrum on days when we’re busy.
My tips are similar to yours; leaving the books around the house helped and got her curious. I also started reading to her from an early age but struggled with being consistent. A part of me actually feels like I got lucky with her interest in books and it has little to do with me. However, I am keen to encourage the habit.
Can’t wait to try tip 5 when she starts talking. I can imagine it being the cutest thing.
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Well done for trying. When it comes to habits, consistency is key – so keep pushing mama. You’re already doing an amazing job (we as parents need to learn to praise ourselves for how well we’re doing with our kids).
It gets even better when they start talking 😂 I wish I could post personal videos 😂
I absolutely agree Amina. Starting early is the key to awaken their curiosity and their love for literature. My son absolutely loves reading. At 8, he has almost finished reading all the Harry Potter books and he is now moving on to his David Walliam ones. His vocabulary is one to be proud of (he often corrects his dad and I 😂). Great tips. Well done
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lol these kids think they are better at speaking English 😂😂😂
It’s amazing that he’s into such complex books at his age. Well done for sparking that curiosity 👏🏾