Starting a New Chapter:
How To Get Kids Excited About Reading
Books and stories open up new worlds of possibilities for children. However, it can sometimes be difficult to get them excited about the idea of reading. This is especially true with the increase in screens and tablets. Turning kids’ attention away from the television and towards books is important for their development. This guide will offer reading tips for kids that will help improve literacy skills and make them excited to hit the books.
Share and Listen
Literacy begins with the spoken word. Before kids can read, they start developing literacy skills by listening to human speech. Having meaningful conversations with your children will expand their knowledge and vocabulary.
Practice active listening with your child and be sure to ask them follow-up questions. The more you talk with your child, the more words they can learn. This will help them later on when they’re reading because they’ll be able to match words they’ve heard with words on the page.
Read Out Loud Together
Reading out loud with your child is one of the best ways to promote literacy. Reading out loud turns the activity from a solo retreat to a group experience. When you’re reading out loud, lean into your acting skills and don’t be afraid to use fun voices or accents. The more excited you seem to be about reading time, the more your child will pick up on that excitement and start to emulate it.
Point to words as you read them so your child can see what a word should look like as they hear it out loud. Indiana’s Reach Out and Read program offers tools for parents reading to their kids at home, including free e-books and discussion guides.
Discuss the Details
Reading time shouldn’t end once you close a book. Instead, the end of a book should mark the beginning of a discussion with your child. Talk about the story and the characters. Try to ask questions that tie the story to things happening in your kid’s own life.
Ask them how they felt about certain situations in the book, and see if they would act any differently if they were in the character’s shoes. Books open up a variety of discussion topics for you and your child. They can even get your kid thinking about potential careers or teach them valuable lessons, like these books on honesty.
Create a Book Nook
If you want your kids to be excited about reading, you have to create an atmosphere at home that encourages it. Set up a book nook in your child’s room where they can sit and enjoy reading. This is also where you can read out loud to your child.
Fill the book nook with fun props that you can use during your reading time. Be sure to include paper and pen and crayons so your child can write or draw after reading. You’ll often find that books inspire creativity in kids. Be sure to encourage this creativity by giving them the proper art tools to express themselves.
Offer a Variety of Topics and Genres
If your child doesn’t seem excited about reading, it could just be because you haven’t found the right topic yet. Test out a wide variety of subjects and genres for your child’s book collection.
Pay close attention to the subjects they talk about during the day. Perhaps they’re obsessed with animals, or very interested in trains. Select books that go along with these passions so your child is excited to read and be read to.
Poetry is a fun genre to try with kids as poems tend to be shorter and packed with fun wordplay. You can turn the poems you read into rhyming games to get your child thinking more about how language works.
Enjoy These Reading Tips For Kids
We hope these tips allow you to connect with your child through stories and books. Remember it’s important to honor your child’s interests, create variety and foster a comfortable reading environment.
For more advice on reading with kids at different ages, check out ourround up of tips here.