The act of reading can start a child on a journey that would take him to new places every day. Reading is encouraged by just about every educator, teacher, and parent, as this is one activity that can develop a person’s inner being as well as provide him with essential life skills.
However, getting children interested in reading from a young age can be a challenging task. This difficulty is increased multifold by the modern devices that fascinate kids these days. Laptops, smartphones, and tablets are not only detrimental to a child’s health but also decrease his attention span, along with making it difficult for him to start reading early. As children grow older, they are only surrounded by more and more devices and distractions to keep them from reading.
For the child’s own sake, he has to be exposed to reading from the very beginning of his life. In order to facilitate reading in children, reading experts have suggested certain activities that could help to get a child interested in books and words, thereby laying the platform for a healthy reading habit. Just a few of these are discussed below:
For Beginners: Baby Books
In order to inculcate reading into a routine, kids need to be shown books that they can relate to at a very, very early age. Baby books have been designed with holes to look through; textured cloth and fibers to give a tactile sensation, and even buttons to produce noises.
Such books can be a delight for very young children who have not even mastered the alphabet yet. These would help children in developing positive memories linked to a book. If the parent is the one reading or interacting with the book alongside, the memories would be even pleasanter.
Bright and simple pictures, touch-and-feel features, and the parent’s voice and proximity are what would attract a child towards books from the start. Hopefully, this would be a solid base upon which to build a lifetime of loving books.
Asking And Answering Questions
After baby books, the next step is having your child read books that answer questions. On order to get them interested here, remind them of similar experiences you have had with them. For example, if a boy and his father are walking in the park in one book, be sure to take your child for a walk sometime soon, if you haven’t in the recent past.
Experiences would help the child to connect more with what they’re reading. Visits to the library, the zoo, different houses, and museums could really get the thought process of a young mind started. The parent could further facilitate this process by asking questions, giving comments, ad, most importantly answering the child’s questions with love, patience, and attention.
The talking part of such trip, and any time spent with a child is an essential part of their development. Talking leads to increased vocabulary and an enhanced understanding of the outside world.
Books With Repetition
Repetition and rhyme is an excellent way to keep children interest in a book. Books can even turn into songs if they’re written and read in the proper way, which would again help a child feel more connected to the book than ever.
Hence, parents and teachers should seek out book version of nursery rhymes as well, so that the pictures and words could soon be familiarized and set into the child’s memory.
Good examples of repetitive and rhyming books include: What Do You See? By Bill Martin and The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper.
Through listening to these books, a child could even complete the phrases or give answers. By participating like this, kids would be more likely to pick up a book on their own later on.
Almost every kid loves to play pretend, whether it’s by playing house or pretending to shoot someone with a toy gun. The same goes for reading.
If a child is pretending to read, don’t stop them, or worse, make fun of them. Looking at words again and again was the traditional way to learn how to read, and it’s still a magical transformation and experience that every child deserves to experience.
Acting Out Stories And Poems
Acting out a story, reciting a poem with actions and gestures, and even setting up a tableau based on a book; all these are excellent and fun activities that kids can easily accomplish.
These activities would probably fill up a lifetime with memories, with videos and recordings of the acting available for revisiting one’s childhood. Additionally, these are extremely effective ways to get the story indelibly into the minds of children.
Many teachers around the world insist that their students, whether in elementary school or university, act out at least part of the text they’re reading. This is because acting out a text would give new and useful insights into the book or specific characters. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that acting’s a whole lot of fun!
Looking For Chances To Read Everywhere
Books aren’t the only medium for reading. There are reading opportunities everywhere, from cereal boxes to billboards to restaurant menus. Whenever people go out with their kids, and even while sitting at home, they can make a little game of creating reading ops.
The kids could have the task of finding words to read, or even write down the objects they see. This would facilitate both reading and writing skills.
Plus, reading the newspaper shouldn’t just be for grownups. Have your kids read out the headlines as soon as they’re old enough? However, it is recommended that they read mostly positive headlines, and on those subjects that interest them.
Plus, there are many, many children’s magazines that contain a lot of fun activities like crossword puzzles and word searches, as well as reviews and articles to sharpen the reading process.
These reading activities would hopefully develop the enthusiasm and interest in both younger and older children. However, take note that it is the parent, guardian, or teacher who has to cheer the child on. Without their input, the activities would probably not be possible. It is even more important to realize that the child should learn to love the act of reading itself, not the prizes that come along with finishing a book or sentence. A balance hence needs to be kept while training a child to love reading.
Alyssa Healy is a highly experienced and qualified elementary school teacher at UK assignment writing service, who also blogs for a living. She is passionate about her teaching, and seeks to improve it in every way possible. You can reach her on Facebook and LinkedIn.