With 53% of children using reading as a tool to relax, along with the added benefits of it developing a broader vocabulary and increasing a better understanding of other cultures, many parents are keen to encourage their children into reading. We spoke to the experts to reveal top tips on how to get your child into reading.
There are endless benefits that can come from reading, so we spoke to the experts at personalised children’s book retailer In the Book are sharing their tips on how best to encourage children into reading, including creating a comfortable reading environment and allowing choice and variety.
5 Expert Tips to Get Your Child Into Reading
Evidence suggests that children who read daily develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. Recent Statista data has shown 53% of children are also using reading as a tool to help them to relax, showcasing the importance of reading for both cognitive development and maintaining wellbeing.
Haliena Brown from In the Book says, “reading is like exercise for our brains as it stimulates and gets us excited to learn new information. It also helps boost imagination and creativity which is brilliant for engaging in lessons at school, as well as boosting social skills at playtime.” Here are some top tips to get your child into reading.
Create a comfortable reading environment
“If you can, set up a dedicated reading area in your home as this can be great for helping your child stay engaged in the book, separate to the hustle and bustle of normal family life,” said Haliena.
“Setting aside time in your routine to read will also help to create a reading habit and boost enjoyment long term.”
Allow choice and variety
Going into bookshops or a library and “letting your child choose their own books to read will encourage independence whilst also improving chances of them being engaged with the story,” added Haliena.
“Of course buying books for your child is lovely, but sometimes children will really enjoy the freedom that comes with picking their own story.”
Talk about books and read aloud regularly
“If you are a regular reader, then letting your children know this can be great for encouraging them to develop a love for reading too.
“Mentioning a current book you are enjoying, or a discussion you’ve had with friends about reading, or even just taking a keen interest in books when out shopping are just some of the ways you can do this,” said Haliena.
“Parents are extremely important factor when it comes to a child’s reading habits,” explains Haliena. Reading to your child from a young age and surrounding them with books is a great idea, potentially alongside putting up a bookshelf in their bedroom or taking them to libraries.
“Many parents may not value reading as much as other activities and are not convinced of the benefits so it is not a priority,” adds Dr Genevieve Von Lob, clinical psychologist, parenting expert and author of Five Deep Breaths: The Power of Mindful Parenting.
“Some parents may have stopped reading aloud to their children because they consider their children old enough to read for themselves, or some simply don’t have the confidence in their own reading skills.”
Remove electronic devices where possible
At least an hour before bed, remove all electronic devices from sight. Dr Genevieve Von Lob says that gadgets and electronic devices have eclipsed books in many homes.
“Electronic devices, smart phones, TV and tablets are now competing for everyone’s attention and are distracting us from sitting down together with our children and reading to them,” she notes.
Place your child in the story to bring reading to life
Presenting children with a special book with a character with their name will help them identify with the book, sparking interest from the offset.
“Younger children tend to enjoy books where they can identify with familiar experiences, however when children get older, reading can provide the opportunity to explore different worlds,” says Haliena.
“This opens up different experiences and stories to their own, widening a child’s understanding of the world and people around them.”
Different children will all have different ways of engaging with reading. Whether it’s a bedtime story together to wind down, an audiobook during the day or even simply reading short sentences from a recipe whilst cooking together, children all learn in different ways and by putting some of the above practices in place, you’ll be sure to spark your child’s interest in reading.
Some of our favourite books for children:
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis