How to Inspire a Love of Reading for Kids of All Ages?
How often does your child read a book out of fun and not because they were assigned one in school? Would your child opt to read a book over watching a movie? Unfortunately, many children read much less than we want (Pitcher et al., 2007). This is because reading becomes more work-like than play for most children, and obviously, children do enjoy playing because this is connected to their deep sense of imagination. Children do show interest in books during Pre-K years because they enjoy leafing through the pages with colorful pictures of their favorite animals and so much more. However, this interest may begin to dissolve itself as they grow into and need to engage in school work and learning How-TO-Read, and later they are required to know what they learned and read.
Reading is not hard work for many children, but it is also not interesting: It is boring! Other kids hate reading because they have never come across motivating reading materials. So how do you inspire your child to love reading? You will inspire a child’s love for reading by first identifying their interests and getting them reading materials that dwell in their interests (Pitcher et al., 2007). For instance, if your daughter loves animals, engage her in storybooks on animals, both fiction and non-fiction. Here are other ways you can inspire a love for reading for kids of any age.
Create a Reading Culture in Your Home
School-age children have packed schedules throughout the week, so stopping and enjoying reading with so many responsibilities may feel like a chore. However, you can make reading fun by introducing it in their free time. First, involve them in selecting the best time to read the books. For instance, kids love staying up a little bit late than the norm; you can set a time to read just before bedtime a few times a week. Setting a time that feels like a privileged earned by staying up a bit later will transfer to the idea of daily reading.
Create a Habitual Read-Aloud Time
Children are natural storytellers and love being read to at any age because of it. Aside from choosing literature that appeals to your child’s interest and aligns with their age, you can get them audiobooks, use platforms like Getepic.com or vooks.com that bring the stories to life. Audiobooks are recordings of a book’s text that a person can listen to instead of reading the book (Harvey & Daniels, 2009). Audio narrators use outstanding performances and voice variations that make them great storytellers. This is a good option for kids since it keeps them hooked and eventually arouses interest in reading books. You can also read aloud the books before allowing them also to read aloud. Slowly, they will begin to love the stories, and the culture of reading will eventually develop. Continue the culture of the read-aloud time until the children embrace the culture and begin to do it on their own.
Turn Reading into a Project
Children love play-based projects. Take any of their favorite books with vivid characters, fabulous settings, and wonderful plot twists and bring it to life with a project. Make it fun by recreating a scene by using props, dressing up in costume, and even changing the original storyline and adding in new characters. Or dramatize the characters as you read the books by applying relevant sounds and gestures to give the same effect. A diorama is also a great and fanatic project for Non-Fiction books. It will bring the Amazon Forest to life with a shoebox, cutouts, everyday household items. Hand-on learning is the fastest way to connect children to reading!
Keep Books in the House
Keeping books, among other reading materials within the home, can make reading part of a family’s habit (Harvey & Daniels, 2009). As a parent, consider reading in your kids’ presence to encourage them to do the same. You can also start a home library with books that will be appealing to all family members. For infants and smaller kids, ensure that you buy extra-durable books, while those of older kids can have plastic covers and hardcovers to reduce tearing. Allowing the kids to visit the library and have interaction with the books. This will create a strong attachment that will eventually enhance their love for reading. Remember, how you handle and read the books will influence how your kids will behave too. If you are a good reader and an excellent book handler, your kids will likely do the same.
Use Reading Platforms
Today, technology is part of almost all aspects of life. While reading is essential and good old-fashioned books are necessary, using reading platforms is a great alternative to changing up any reading routine. Here are a few wonderful and recommended platforms by teachers: GetEpic.com, vooks.com, Kidstimestorytime on Youtube, Tumblebooks, PebbleGo, highlights.com, scholastic.com, and freekidsbooks.org.
Food for Thought:
My passion for reading started with how my first-grade teacher Mrs. Robertson taught my non-English speaking mother about resources. She introduced the library, summer reading programs, and Highlight magazines. We couldn’t afford much then, so most of the resources needed to be FREE. But that’s not what mattered most. What mattered is I was present in those conversations to translate the best I could as a first-grader. Mrs. Robertson’s desire to make sure I knew to read fueled me with the desire to learn to read. Her care is what lite my desire to become a learner. It was no walk in the park for me to learn to read-NOT AT ALL, but I did it!!! Step by step, I did! It takes a village to raise a child. Thank you for letting us be part of yours!
- Create a Reading Culture in your Home
- Create a Habitual Read-Aloud Time
- Turn Reading into a Project
- Keep Books in the Home
- Use Reading Platforms
References: 1. Dunneback, S. & Therrell, J. (2015). Millennial perspectives and priorities. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 15(5), p.49-63. 2. Harvey, S., & Daniels, H. (2009). Comprehension and Collaboration: Inquiry circles in action. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. 3. Pitcher, S. et al. (2007). Assessing adolescents' motivation to read. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 50(5), 378–396.